anesthesia for organ harvest?

  1. I read a thread in the OR forum that talked about organ harvesting and it confused me. The original poster talked about how eerie it is when anesthesia cuts off their machines and leaves the room (and she mentioned how this happens before the harvest team leaves).

    My question is, why is anesthesia necessary for an organ harvest when the patient is 'dead' ? Do you concentrate on perfusion issues, try to keep the pH in a certain range, or what? I don't get it. Please explain your role as an anesthesia provider in this situation.


    lifeLONGstudent
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  2. 3 Comments

  3. by   sonessrna
    Quote from lifeLONGstudent
    I read a thread in the OR forum that talked about organ harvesting and it confused me. The original poster talked about how eerie it is when anesthesia cuts off their machines and leaves the room (and she mentioned how this happens before the harvest team leaves).

    My question is, why is anesthesia necessary for an organ harvest when the patient is 'dead' ? Do you concentrate on perfusion issues, try to keep the pH in a certain range, or what? I don't get it. Please explain your role as an anesthesia provider in this situation.


    lifeLONGstudent
    Some of this has to do with your beliefs as a person. I have worked with CRNAs who run an anesthetic just like they would for a live breathing person they will wake up in the end. Others do not. I usually run an anesthetic that is secondary to the ultimate goal of achieving a normal pH, good perfusion, and in the end, organs that are not damaged but what you are doing. ANesthesia is the second priority.
  4. by   duckboy20
    I have only had one case of a live organ harvest but like sonessrna said, I also like to run my anesthesia to take care of the vital organs that they are harvesting. Amnesia is not a concern since the patient is brain dead. You are concerned about homeostasis to the best you can get it and will spend a lot of time possibly trying to keep the pressure normal etc..... And yes, I did find it sort of eerie just turning off my machine and walking out of the room instead of wheeling my patient to pacu
  5. by   lifeLONGstudent
    ok, makes sense now. Thanks

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