Attitudes of healthcare providers towards cardiac donation after circulatory determination of death: a Canadian nation-wide survey Academic Article uri icon

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  • PURPOSE: The number of patients on cardiac transplant waitlists exceeds the number of available donor organs. Cardiac donation is currently limited to those declared dead by neurologic criteria in all but three countries. Cardiac donation after circulatory determination of death (cardiac DCDD) can be conducted using direct procurement and perfusion (DPP) or normothermic regional perfusion (NRP). Implementation of cardiac DCDD in many countries has been slowed by ethical debates within the donation and transplantation community. We conducted a national survey to determine the perceptions of healthcare providers regarding cardiac DCDD. METHODS: We conducted an electronic survey of 398 healthcare providers who are involved in the management of heart donors and/or heart transplant recipients in Canada (226 nurses, 82 critical care physicians, 31 donation specialists, and 59 transplant specialists). Our primary outcomes were their attitudes towards and concerns regarding cardiac DCDD protocols and their implementation in Canada. We distributed the survey electronically through several Canadian donation and transplantation organizations. RESULTS: We identified that 361 of 391 respondents (92.3%; 95% confidence interval [CI], 89.6 to 95.1) believed that DPP is acceptable, and 329 of 377 respondents (87.3%; 95% CI, 83.9 to 90.7) supported its implementation in Canada. We found that 301 of 384 respondents (78.4%; 95% CI, 74.2 to 82.6) believed that NRP is acceptable and 266 of 377 respondents (70.6%; 95% CI, 66.0 to 75.2) supported its implementation in Canada. CONCLUSION: This is the first survey describing the attitudes of healthcare providers towards cardiac DCDD. We identified widespread support for cardiac DCDD and its implementation in Canada among Canadian healthcare providers within the organ donation and transplantation community in Canada.


  • Honarmand, Kimia
  • Parsons Leigh, Jeanna
  • Basmaji, John
  • Martin, Claudio M
  • Sibbald, Robert
  • Nagpal, Dave
  • Lau, Vince
  • Priestap, Fran
  • De, Sabe
  • Healey, Andrew
  • Dhanani, Sonny
  • Weiss, Matthew J
  • Shemie, Sam
  • Ball, Ian M

publication date

  • March 2020