Organ Harvest & Anesthesia

  1. I love this site and wish I had found it earlier! I am accepted into Drexel's program for 1/06 and finishing my prelim. stuff this year.

    I would like to ask a question of those who are already in school or practice. I read through many of the threads but didn't go back too far. I hope this isn't redundant. Relative to the research I am currently doing, what are your individual experiences (if you would care to share) of providing anesthesia in an organ harvest?

    Did you? If so what kind? Were there any objective s/s of donor pain/discomfort? Any other information you could add would be greatly appreciated. I have lots of journal research, now I'm just curious as to what really happens in practice. Thanks in advance!
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  2. 7 Comments

  3. by   TheCommuter
    My mom needed a liver transplant and I offered a portion of my liver, as the liver does regenerate in a healthy person. I received analgesia, though this probably doesn't fully answer your question.
  4. by   heartICU
    Quote from Zinobile
    I love this site and wish I had found it earlier! I am accepted into Drexel's program for 1/06 and finishing my prelim. stuff this year.

    I would like to ask a question of those who are already in school or practice. I read through many of the threads but didn't go back too far. I hope this isn't redundant. Relative to the research I am currently doing, what are your individual experiences (if you would care to share) of providing anesthesia in an organ harvest?

    Did you? If so what kind? Were there any objective s/s of donor pain/discomfort? Any other information you could add would be greatly appreciated. I have lots of journal research, now I'm just curious as to what really happens in practice. Thanks in advance!
    Are you talking about a cadaveric donor, or living donors?
  5. by   LNsrna
    Quote from Zinobile
    I love this site and wish I had found it earlier! I am accepted into Drexel's program for 1/06 and finishing my prelim. stuff this year.

    I would like to ask a question of those who are already in school or practice. I read through many of the threads but didn't go back too far. I hope this isn't redundant. Relative to the research I am currently doing, what are your individual experiences (if you would care to share) of providing anesthesia in an organ harvest?

    Did you? If so what kind? Were there any objective s/s of donor pain/discomfort? Any other information you could add would be greatly appreciated. I have lots of journal research, now I'm just curious as to what really happens in practice. Thanks in advance!
    I work in a Trauma/Surgical ICU at a major medical center and have had several patients who were organ donors (brain dead). I have also witnessed several organ harvests. It's my understanding that a brain dead patient only requires supportive care such as blood pressure, ventilator support, etc., from the MDA/CRNA. No anesthetic gases, hypnotics, etc. After all, the patient is technically dead.
  6. by   Zinobile
    I failed to mention in my original post that I was curious about the requirements for brain dead organ donors.

    I realize that the brain is dead and not supposed to require any anesthetic/analgesic meds. but I've come across some ambiguous information and was curious about the experiences.

    Thanks for your responses.
  7. by   Tia
    Quote from Zinobile
    I failed to mention in my original post that I was curious about the requirements for brain dead organ donors.

    I realize that the brain is dead and not supposed to require any anesthetic/analgesic meds. but I've come across some ambiguous information and was curious about the experiences.

    Thanks for your responses.
    Once a patient has met brain death criteria and family has decided to undergo organ harvest the patient remains in the ICU until all lab work has been completed and confirmation that organs can be accepted. Pressor and ventilator support is required in the ICU to perfuse the organs until they arrive in the OR. The CRNA/MDA job is to continue the pressors until the organs have been harvested. No anesthestic gases or analgesia is given. Once harvest has been completed you turn off the ventilator and leave the room. Some CRNAs find it a difficult assignment because it is our job to wake the patient up at the end not just leave the room. On the other hand, it is very rewarding to receive a letter of where the organs went and knowing that you may have saved another life. Good luck with your future plans in anesthesia. Tia
  8. by   jewelcutt
    It's kind of funny that I just had this lecture today in class. The patient will be on pressors, will need treatment for diabetes insipidus and correction of acidosis and hypernatremia. Muscle relaxation is used for easier surgical access and gases may be used only to control blood pressure. At the end of the case you will turn off the vent and your job is done. Everything tia said also about brain death and icu maintenance.
  9. by   talaxandra
    Hi Zinobile,
    although it doesn't wholly match your question, there was some discussion on one of my threads ("Do you speak to brain dead patients?" http://allnurses.com/forums/showthread.php?t=67338) which touched on some of the issues around brain death and concerns about sensation. Hope this helps!

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