The Gift of Life: Interprofessional Organ Donation Curriculum in Pediatric Critical Care


The Gift of Life: Interprofessional Organ Donation Curriculum in Pediatric Critical Care


Bursac I; Mtaweh H; Lee D; Mema B


ATS Scholar




organ donation; curriculum; interprofessional education


BACKGROUND: The number of patients awaiting organ transplantation is high, particularly in Pediatrics, in which available organs are scarce. To maximize organ donation opportunities and to provide quality end-of-life care, clinicians from all professions must be familiar with the process. There continues to be important gaps in core competencies regarding organ donation, including donor criteria and eligibility, timing of referral to organ procurement organizations, neurological determination of death, donation after cardiocirculatory death, and donor management. These gaps affect healthcare providers across multiple professions and are significant barriers to donation. OBJECTIVE: We describe an interprofessional curriculum that is designed to teach Pediatric Critical Care Medicine (PCCM) clinicians about the process of organ donation and supporting the families through that process. The approach of families is the purview of organ procurement organization, and the support of the families through the process remains with PCCM clinicians. METHODS: Kern's six-step approach to curriculum development was used to develop, implement, and evaluate an interprofessional curriculum on organ donation in PCCM for physicians, nurses, and respiratory therapists. RESULTS: Problem formulation and both general and targeted needs assessments were performed through a comprehensive literature review, including review of national guidelines and Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada training objectives. Learning objectives and educational strategies were then outlined using two educational frameworks. After implementation, the curriculum was evaluated using learner self-assessments with a retrospective pre-post design. CONCLUSION: After identifying educational gaps contributing to barriers to organ donation, an interprofessional curriculum was developed to increase competency in multiple aspects of organ donation, including team communication and collaboration, with the ultimate goal of promoting a culture of donation while ensuring it is part of quality end-of-life care.


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Bursac I; Mtaweh H; Lee D; Mema B, “The Gift of Life: Interprofessional Organ Donation Curriculum in Pediatric Critical Care,” Pediatric Palliative Care Library, accessed February 26, 2024,