2013 - ISODP 2013 Congress

This page contains exclusive content for the member of the following sections: TTS, ISODP. Log in to view.

Mini-Oral 1 on Donation

8.0 - Donation after cardiac death following withdrawal of veno-venous extracorporeal membrane oxygenation

Presenter: Brett, Sampson, Adelaide, Australia
Authors: Brett Sampson, Ubbo Wiersema, Philippa Jones, Gerry O'Callaghan

Donation after cardiac death following withdrawal of veno-venous extracorporeal membrane oxygenation

Brett Sampson1,2, Ubbo Wiersema1, Philippa Jones2, Gerry O'Callaghan1

1Intensive and Critcal Care Unit, Flinders Medical Centre, Adelaide, Australia, 2DonateLife , SA, Australia

Donation after cardiac death (DCD) has rapidly increased throughout Australia in recent years [1,2]. Over the same period there has been increased availability of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO); a legacy of the 2009 Influenza A (H1N1) pandemic [3,4]. With growing experience in these two practices, a new pool of potential organ donors is likely to be realised.  In Australia, ECMO is only initiated for severe cardiorespiratory failure when spontaneous recovery is expected, or as a bridge to heart (&/or lung) transplantation. Unfortunately, ECMO is not always lifesaving and sometimes it must be withdrawn to enable end of life care. It is in this cohort of patients that a new pool of potential organ donors may exist.  We present a case of a sixty year old man with severe community acquired pneumonia, complicated by acute respiratory distress syndrome, who donated both kidneys through DCD after withdrawal of veno-venous ECMO. We discuss how ECMO might influence the identification of potential organ donors, its impact on the withdrawal of life sustaining treatments and how it might be used to minimise ischaemic injury to donated organs. The international practice of initiating veno-arterial ECMO after cardiac death, solely to facilitate DCD, is not practiced in Australia and therefore is not discussed.

Important Disclaimer

By viewing the material on this site you understand and accept that:

  1. The opinions and statements expressed on this site reflect the views of the author or authors and do not necessarily reflect those of The Transplantation Society and/or its Sections.
  2. The hosting of material on The Transplantation Society site does not signify endorsement of this material by The Transplantation Society and/or its Sections.
  3. The material is solely for educational purposes for qualified health care professionals.
  4. The Transplantation Society and/or its Sections are not liable for any decision made or action taken based on the information contained in the material on this site.
  5. The information cannot be used as a substitute for professional care.
  6. The information does not represent a standard of care.
  7. No physician-patient relationship is being established.



Staff Directory


The Transplantation Society
International Headquarters
740 Notre-Dame Ouest
Suite 1245
Montréal, QC, H3C 3X6