How does Organ Donation Work
Transplants post brain death must be done very soon after death to ensure the organs remain suitable for transplantation, and the person who has died is not deprived of the opportunity to donate. However, organ donation itself will not take place unless you, in your lifetime, expressed a wish to donate, or the person closest to you in life gives their permission.
Donation after Brain Death
Once the patient is admitted, all efforts are made to stabilize the patient. If those efforts fail, the patient is pronounced brain-dead, but only after the doctor’s evaluation, testing and documentation.
Consent from the family is obtained to proceed with the donation, and the organ procurement organization is informed. Consent from coroner/legal authorities is obtained.
In the mean time, the organ donor is maintained on ventilator, and stabilized with fluids and medications. He/she also undergoes numerous laboratory tests.
Recipients are also identified for placement of organs. A surgical team is mobilized and coordinated to arrive at the hospital for removal of organs and tissues.
The donor is brought to the operating room. Multiple organ recovery is performed with organs being preserved through special solutions and cold packing. The ventilator support is then discontinued.
The donor’s body is surgically closed and released.