Pediatric organ donation and transplantation


Pediatric organ donation and transplantation


Workman JK; Myrick CW; Meyers RL; Bratton SL; Nakagawa TA






adolescent; Child; Humans; infant; United States; Death; Adult; Tissue and Organ Procurement; Brain Death; Preschool; Organ Transplantation


BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: There is increasing unmet need for solid organ donation. Alternative donor sources, such as donation after circulatory determination of death (DCDD), are needed. The objective of this study was to examine the impact of DCDD on trends in pediatric organ donation and transplantation. METHODS: Data were obtained from the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network for US organ recipients and donors from 2001 to 2010 stratified according to age, organ, and deceased donor type (DCDD or donation after neurologic determination of death). Additional data included transplant wait-list removals due to death. RESULTS: From 2001 to 2010, pediatric organ transplant recipients increased from 1170 to 1475. Organs from DCDD donors were transplanted into children infrequently but increased from 1 to 31. Pediatric donation after neurologic determination of death decreased by 13% whereas DCDD increased by 174% (50 to 137). Recipients of pediatric grafts decreased from 3042 to 2751. Adults receiving grafts from pediatric donors decreased from 2243 to 1780; children receiving pediatric grafts increased from 799 to 971. Transplant recipients receiving pediatric DCDD grafts were few but increased annually from 50 to 128 adults and 0 to 9 children. Pediatric candidates dying waiting for an organ decreased from 262 to 110. CONCLUSIONS: From 2001 to 2010, children received more solid organ transplants and fewer children died waiting. Organ recovery from pediatric and adult DCDD donors increased. The number of pediatric recipients of DCDD grafts remains small. Adults primarily receive the direct benefit from pediatric DCDD but other changes in organ allocation have directly benefited children.


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Workman JK; Myrick CW; Meyers RL; Bratton SL; Nakagawa TA, “Pediatric organ donation and transplantation,” Pediatric Palliative Care Library, accessed August 8, 2022,

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