Do you trust the organ donation process (after recovery of 'brain dead' boy)? - page 7

You must have seen the story of the teenager with the head injury who was pronounced by doctors as being ready for organ donation. Fortunately he started waking up the day before harvest was to... Read More

  1. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Quote from LovingLife123
    Many of these comments show me that unless you work with the organ donation process, you have no idea how it works. The family I think vastly misunderstood the doctors. I work in a Neuro/Trauma ICU and I see how families all the time misinterpret our doctors. They often take a neurosurgeon explaining a poor prognosis and outlook to mean brain dead. Because most people don't understand that brain dead is dead. There is no coming back. You can't be brain dead one day and not the next. The certificate is dated and signed at the time actual brain death is determined.

    I've often seen a family get a poor prognosis and then the patient get somewhat better. It happens the most in the young.

    There is much testing that is done with brain death. An apnea test is done first. Certain criteria must be met with that. Then a brain flow study is done. Two doctors must do it. Our neurosurgeons do it most of the time.

    Nobody looks at a patient and thinks ah, a good donor patient. We exhaust all efforts to save the patient. When the GCS score gets to a certain point we call the donor people. They are still called even when we know the injuries are survivable. They follow each case in the background. We give all the background info. More often than not we are told just to call back with cardiac time of death as most people are not eligible.

    We are not allowed to mention donation nor are the doctors. Most drug addicted are not eLigible because of all the damage the drugs do to their organs. Most of our organ donors are traumas. Gunshots mostly.

    I've only ever seen 2 cardiac death donors.

    I've had families decide to withdraw care and the patient not pass. Some people defy the odds.

    In no way, shape, or form, does what some people are suggesting on here happens, actually happen. I feel I have a lot of good information and experience on this subject.
    YES! to this post.
  2. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Quote from dbabz
    I lost my five-year-old son in 2010 in a drowning accident and he was on life support for two days and then we were told nothing further could be done, he wasn't coming back and we opted to donate. Maybe I shouldn't even be reading this, given my situation, but since I am now a nurse, I need to be well-informed.

    Maybe this is just the rationalization of a bereaved mother (I will be that for the rest of my life) but here's my logic when this comes up. Wouldn't it be in the best interest of the hospital to do anything and everything to promote the best outcome for the patient? Even from a strictly cold, practical perspective it would seem that a hospital saving a patient would "look" better (in terms of reputation, statistics, etc) than one that procures organs. Two things I should point out; I never really held out much hope--I always felt in my heart that my little boy no longer dwelt in the shell of his body. A mother knows these things. Also, I'd like it to be known that we worked with Gift of Hope, an organization for which I still have the utmost respect. They were absolutely wonderful. Even through my grief, I was in awe of the compassion and kindness that everyone involved showed us. We still donate to them in my son's memory and urge others to do the same when they want to honor him.

    I really would like to know what concerns any of you have with the organ procurement process, and again, this is knowledge that I need for future practice so please don't spare my feelings.
    I am so sorry for your loss.
  3. by   Elaken
    I hate "miracles" like this because it is what people point to when they want to keeps someone artificially alive for ever, refuse DNR for their parent, etc. Medicine will probably always be a bit of a guessing game but the exceptions don't negate the overwhelming amount of times they are correct.

    I find it so gross that some people posting think doctors would decide to kill (which is what it would be if they knew he could recover) a kid for his organs.

    I personally judge people who aren't organ donors, who don't at least donate blood on occasion, who are DNRs at 95.
  4. by   Kooky Korky
    Quote from TiffyRN
    The story I read (and all were from the family's perspective), discussed how the kid started to fail the testing for brain death the day before planned withdrawal of life support. I think that raises my confidence in the process. They were going through the needed exams, and the kid failed, which showed brain activity. Good. And huge skepticism over his eyes changing color because they "saw God".

    My guess, the steroids kicked in, reduced brain swelling enough to allow sufficient perfusion, and he never totally lost brain function. Yay science. Not a miracle.
    Thank goodness you are here to determine science v. miracle for all of us. Just for the record - Who do you think invented Science?

    God, my dear, God.

    Yes, he invented evolution and the big bang, too.
  5. by   Kooky Korky
    Quote from Elaken
    I hate "miracles" like this because it is what people point to when they want to keeps someone artificially alive for ever, refuse DNR for their parent, etc. Medicine will probably always be a bit of a guessing game but the exceptions don't negate the overwhelming amount of times they are correct.

    I find it so gross that some people posting think doctors would decide to kill (which is what it would be if they knew he could recover) a kid for his organs.

    I personally judge people who aren't organ donors, who don't at least donate blood on occasion, who are DNRs at 95.
    I guess you meant are NOT DNR at 95, right?

    Do you think all doctors are honorable? Always?

    Why does everyone have to donate organs to please you?
  6. by   Kooky Korky
    Quote from not.done.yet
    They are sure lucky then that their prayers were better than so many other people's who also prayed for God to intervene.
    Not better. Just that God had one set of plans for one person and a different set of plans for someone else.
    Life is filled with many seriously frustrating questions for which we do not get to have answers in this life.

    Why, for one seemingly small transgression, did Moses not get to enter The Promised Land? After a long life, after leading the Children of Israel around the desert for forty freaking years, no less. While others, who were not leaders, who had done far less work presumably, got to enter?

    And so on.
  7. by   Elaken
    Quote from Kooky Korky
    Just for the record - Who do you think invented Science?

    God, my dear, God.

    Yes, he invented evolution and the big bang, too.
    Bwuahahhaha

    And no one has to do anything to please me seeing as I am sure 99.99...% of the population could not care less about my judgement of them.
  8. by   boquiabierta
    Quote from Kooky Korky
    Thank goodness you are here to determine science v. miracle for all of us. Just for the record - Who do you think invented Science?

    God, my dear, God.

    Yes, he invented evolution and the big bang, too.
    I forgot we live under religious law and this is a Christian nation - oh wait.
  9. by   elkpark
    Quote from Kooky Korky
    Thank goodness you are here to determine science v. miracle for all of us. Just for the record - Who do you think invented Science?

    God, my dear, God.

    Yes, he invented evolution and the big bang, too.
    No, that's who you think "invented science." Not everyone shares your beliefs, nor is anyone obligated to.
  10. by   AdamantiteEnigma
    Quote from LovingLife123
    Many of these comments show me that unless you work with the organ donation process, you have no idea how it works. The family I think vastly misunderstood the doctors. I work in a Neuro/Trauma ICU and I see how families all the time misinterpret our doctors. They often take a neurosurgeon explaining a poor prognosis and outlook to mean brain dead. Because most people don't understand that brain dead is dead. There is no coming back. You can't be brain dead one day and not the next. The certificate is dated and signed at the time actual brain death is determined.

    I've often seen a family get a poor prognosis and then the patient get somewhat better. It happens the most in the young.

    There is much testing that is done with brain death. An apnea test is done first. Certain criteria must be met with that. Then a brain flow study is done. Two doctors must do it. Our neurosurgeons do it most of the time.

    Nobody looks at a patient and thinks ah, a good donor patient. We exhaust all efforts to save the patient. When the GCS score gets to a certain point we call the donor people. They are still called even when we know the injuries are survivable. They follow each case in the background. We give all the background info. More often than not we are told just to call back with cardiac time of death as most people are not eligible.

    We are not allowed to mention donation nor are the doctors. Most drug addicted are not eLigible because of all the damage the drugs do to their organs. Most of our organ donors are traumas. Gunshots mostly.

    I've only ever seen 2 cardiac death donors.

    I've had families decide to withdraw care and the patient not pass. Some people defy the odds.

    In no way, shape, or form, does what some people are suggesting on here happens, actually happen. I feel I have a lot of good information and experience on this subject.
    There are, of course, exceptions. My older brother definitely qualified as one. He did not survive his anoxic brain injury. And although, he'd clearly stated to anyone in our family he did not wish to be an organ donor, there were issues for me to tackle with the staff when I arrived.

    We were all in agreement that he had experienced brain death. But this hospital went entirely too far. He was being vented, and kept alive. His name in the medical record and documentation was John Doe. His wallet, DNR bracelet, and other belongings were missing (later handed to me by a concerned security officer). And it was an absolute fight to stop the process of harvesting before it started. None of that had to happen, but someone clearly thought it would be a great idea to harvest a man without due diligence. I still struggle from time to time with the knowledge that anything confirming his identity was magically 'lost.' Another hospital employee knew us both and called me, in case you were curious about how I got there to begin with.

    What they did was disgraceful. And I am still so disgusted by that experience that I've reversed my stance on the concept of organ donating. Because if it can happen to him, it surely could happen to me...
    Last edit by AdamantiteEnigma on May 24 : Reason: random typo

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