Improving quality of withdrawal of life-sustaining measures in organ donation: a framework and implementation toolkit
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BACKGROUND: Donation after circulatory determination of death (DCD) is responsible for the largest increase in deceased donation over the past decade. When the Canadian DCD guideline was published in 2006, it included recommendations to create standard policies and procedures for withdrawal of life-sustaining measures (WLSM) as well as quality assurance frameworks for this practice. In 2016, the Canadian Critical Care Society produced a guideline for WLSM that requires modifications to facilitate implementation when DCD is part of the end-of-life care plan. METHODS: A pan-Canadian multidisciplinary collaborative was convened to examine the existing guideline framework and to create tools to put the existing guideline into practice in centres that practice DCD. RESULTS: A set of guiding principles for implementation of the guideline in DCD practice were produced using an iterative, consensus-based approach followed by development of four implementation tools and three quality assurance and audit tools. CONCLUSIONS: The tools developed will aid DCD centres in fulsomely adapting the Canadian Critical Care Society Withdrawal of Life-Sustaining Measures guideline.
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