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Minerva Anestesiologica 2015 June;81(6):636-44


language: English

Deaths with acute cerebral lesions in ICU: does the number of potential organ donors depend on predictable factors?

Procaccio F., Ricci A., Ghirardini A., Masiero L., Caprio M., Troni A., Caggiano M., Nanni Costa A.

National Transplant Centre (CNT), Italian National Institute of Health, Rome, Italy


BACKGROUND: As the potentiality of deceased organ donation mostly depends on the number of brain deaths (BDs), the aim of this study is to quantify rates and probabilities of BD declaration in Italy.
METHODS: Deaths with acute cerebral lesion (ACLDs) in the Italian ICUs have been prospectively collected. A total of 27,490 ACDLs occurred in 5 years. Age, gender, etiology, timing of death and ICU Region have been utilized for multivariate analysis.
RESULTS: The global ratio of BD declarations to ACLDs was 39.9%. The rates of ACLDs, BD declarations and actual donors were 93.5, 37.3 and 19.7 pmp respectively. Wide variability resulted among Regions, with 148.2 ACLDs, 77.8 BD declarations and 42 donors pmp as benchmark. The probability of being BD declared was significantly higher in stroke compared with head injury (OR 1.6, P<0.001) and in females (OR 1.5, P<0.001), with half the Regions missing around 50% of BD declarations compared with the benchmark, particularly in elderly patients.
CONCLUSION: Predictable factors associated with BD declaration can be identified in ACLD management. Positive factors leading to the identification of potential organ donors, i.e., the capacity of declaring BD in all the patients fulfilling BD criteria irrespective of age and etiology, could be captured in the best performing regions and reproduced throughout the Country. The implementation of simple indicators based on prospective ACLD monitoring, i.e. the declared BDs to ACLDs in ICU ratio, may be helpful in achieving efficiency targets and reliable comparisons of outcomes in the identification of BD potential organ donors.

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