Donation after Cardiac Death
Chiyan Alenjandra, at age 9, received a living donor kidney transplant in 2002 and a liver transplant two weeks later.
After a family has decided to withdraw care, a physician will contact the organ donor network (it is mandatory federal law that the organ donor network is called after such discussions). The organ donor network will screen the patient for eligibility and speak to the family if the network believes that the patient is a suitable candidate.
If the family consents for donation, life sustaining machines will be disconnected in an operating room. The family may be present in the operating room during withdrawal of artificial life support if they wish. Once the machines are disconnected, if the patient’s heart stops beating within 60 minutes, the organs can be harvested for transplant. Typically, liver, kidney, lungs, pancreas and tissues can be used after DCD.