|Authors||D'Alessandro AM, Peltier JW, Phelps JE|
|Journal||Am. J. Transplant. Volume: 8 Issue: 1 Pages: 193-200|
|Publish Date||2008 Jan|
Findings are reported from a US Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) funded study to identify barriers to increasing support for donations after cardiac death by health professionals. A donations after cardiac death (DCD) acceptance model is conceptualized and tested via 806 survey responses from certified requestors, all of whom had their identities protected through Institutional Review Board (IRB) protocol. The overall model was significant and explained 35% of the variation in DCD support. Greater knowledge about DCD, greater trust in the organ procurement organization (OPO) and a belief that futility has been reached were all positively associated with DCD acceptance. Negative perceptions of DCD versus brain death, transitioning from caregiving to donation advocate, concerns about the DCD process and the idea that DCD leads to active participation in the death reduced its support. The three greatest impediments to support of DCD exist when health professionals feel they are playing an active role in killing the patient, that a state of death has not yet been reached, and that DCD has more psychological barriers than does the brain death donation process. Opportunities and strategic initiatives are discussed to overcome these barriers, including the value of communication and education initiatives and the need for well-trained requestors. The implementation of these strategic guidelines helped to increase the number of DCD donors by 225%.