But no brain death: organ donation stopped

But no brain death: organ donation stopped

Aborted organ donation: Serious error in brain death diagnosis

According to a media report, an organ donation had to be stopped in a hospital in northern Germany because errors had been made in diagnosing brain death. The donor was already lying on the operating table with his stomach cut open.

Donor's belly was already cut open According to a report, doctors "made mistakes again in determining brain death as part of an organ donation". According to a message from the dpa news agency, "at the beginning of December, an organ donation was stopped in a hospital in the Bremen / Bremerhaven area because the donor's brain death was not diagnosed according to the rules provided". At this point, "the surgeons had already opened the abdomen," as the SZ reports in its Monday edition.

“Uncertainties regarding the diagnosis of brain death” According to the newspaper, the German Organ Transplantation Foundation (DSO) confirmed “Uncertainties regarding the diagnosis of brain death and its documentation”. It is said that the surveillance commission located at the Federal Medical Association (BÄK) has been informed. According to the SZ, the Chamber of Physicians announced that "no information can be given on ongoing proceedings in specific individual cases". According to the information, the monitoring commission will shortly "deal with the review of certain brain death examinations and diagnoses".

Death certificates corrected after the fact A year ago it had become known that within three years, physicians had declared a total of ten patients deviating from the guidelines for brain dead. According to the DSO, however, no organs were removed from the living. At that time the SZ had reported that even death certificates had to be corrected afterwards. According to the newspaper, the cause is inadequate training of doctors in the field of brain death diagnostics. The board of directors of the DSO, Rainer Hess, confirmed last year that doctors are sometimes disagreed about how exactly brain death can be determined.

Clear guidelines for brain death diagnosis There are actually clear guidelines for brain death diagnosis in Germany. Among other things, this means that two qualified doctors make the diagnosis independently of one another and must agree, as the SZ reported. Furthermore, all circumstances that only numb the brain such as medication, coma, too low a body temperature or poisoning would have to be excluded. There are currently around 11,000 seriously ill patients nationwide waiting for a donor organ that could potentially save their lives. It is to be hoped that the current news about the case in northern Germany does not raise any serious doubts about organ donation among potential donors. In the past, donor numbers had dropped dramatically due to transplant scandals. (ad)

Image: Martin Jäger / pixelio.de

Author and source information

Video: Organ Donation After DCDD: Introduction by Sally Vitali for OPENPediatrics