Hamilton-DONATE: a city-wide pilot observational study of the ICU management of deceased organ donors Academic Article uri icon

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  • PURPOSE: Improving the medical care of deceased organ donors to increase transplant rates and improve allograft function requires an understanding of the current epidemiology and clinical practices of deceased donation within intensive care units (ICUs). Herein, we report the results of our investigation into the feasibility of a multicentre prospective cohort study addressing the afformentioned issues. METHODS: We conducted a 12-month prospective observational cohort study in six ICUs and one coronary care unit in Hamilton, Canada. We included consecutive children and adults following consent for deceased organ donation (including neurologic determination of death [NDD] or donation after circulatory death [DCD]). Intensive care unit research staff recorded donor management data from hospital records, extending from one day prior to the consent for organ donation up to the time of organ retrieval. The provincial Organ Donation Organization (ODO) supplemented these data and, additionally, provided data on corresponding organ recipients. We identified, evaluated, and measured three potential obstacles to the feasibility of a national cohort study: obtaining authorization to implement the study with a waiver of research consent, accessibility of transplant recipient data, and the time required to complete very detailed case report forms (CRFs), with valuable lessons learned for implementation in future projects. RESULTS: The local Research Ethics Board and the ODO Privacy Office both authorized the recording of donor and recipient study data with a waiver of research consent. Sixty-seven consecutive consented donors were included (31 NDD and 36 DCD donors); 50 of them provided 144 organs for transplantation to 141 recipients. We identified the age and sex of the recipients as well as the location and date of transplant for all organ recipients in Ontario; however, we obtained no recipient data for six organs transported outside of Ontario. Intensive care unit research staff estimated that future CRF completion will require five to seven hours per patient. CONCLUSION: The Hamilton-DONATE pilot study supports the feasibility of a larger cohort study to describe the epidemiology and clinical practices related to deceased donor care in Canada. TRIAL REGISTRATION: wwwclinicaltrials.gov (NCT02902783). Registered 16 September 2016.


  • D’Aragon, Frederick
  • Cook, Deborah
  • Dhanani, Sony
  • Ribic, Christine
  • Burns, Karen EA
  • Akhtar, Aemal
  • Hand, Lori
  • Arseneau, Erika
  • Cupido, Cynthia
  • Whittigham, Heather
  • Healey, Andrew
  • Frenette, Anne Julie
  • Lamontagne, François
  • Meade, Maureen O

publication date

  • October 2018