Do you trust the organ donation process (after recovery of 'brain dead' boy)? - page 6

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   Here.I.Stand
    in case anyone is wondering, those statistics in my last post are from
  2. by   Have Nurse
    It's odd that this came up. Today while on my way to work, I listened to a physician on the radio, (guest speaker), who is also concerned that organs are being harvested "too soon." He himself is an organ donor and plans to re-visit that when he renews his drivers license. But he did emphasize that he isn't against organ donorship, in fact, it does save lives. But to quote him, "Some physicians are too eager to do something bad to do something good." I must confess it did get my attention.
  3. by   psu_213
    Quote from Pippynurseuk
    Similarly, I recently read (from an interview by her mum) that she can now move her arms, legs, turn her head and bend at the waist. You would think that theses videos would be all over her Facebook page and the media (being such a miracle) but no, I guess they just haven't gotten round to posting them yet ...
    If I remember correctly, at the time we had the original discussion about the unfortunate case on Jahi, a few people mentioned that at some point in the future we would hear from the family that Jahi had made a recovery, which seems to be what is happening.
  4. by   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.
  5. by   not.done.yet
    Quote from elkpark
    Many, many families discontinue life support on individuals who are not brain dead; that is not the only criteria for doing so.

    But feel free to enjoy your conspiracy theory.
    Exactly. My son was not brain dead when we made the decision to withdraw futile care.

    I hate these sensationalized news stories of so called miraculous recoveries. Patients having this outcome aren't the norm. Far, far from.The stories aren't usually very comprehensive in the coverage of actual facts. They lead to families feeling like they have to continue care at all costs just in case they might be the recipient of their own "miracle" and to lifelong guilt with questioning whether they should have waited longer to withdraw care to give a miracle the chance to happen.

    The kid wasnt brain dead. He had not been tested yet. Tests would have shown this and the family would have been facing hard decisions without any news coverage at all.
    Last edit by not.done.yet on May 17
  6. by   BSNbeauty
    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.
    Yay,God, not science. I'm a firm believer that God had everything to do with the process, He created science after all.
  7. by   not.done.yet
    Quote from BSNbeauty
    Yay,God, not science. I'm a firm believer that God had everything to do with the process, He created science after all.
    They are sure lucky then that their prayers were better than so many other people's who also prayed for God to intervene.
  8. by   brownbook
    Quote from dbabz
    I'm sorry for your lost, thank you for sharing. I wish I had better, magical, words to say.
  9. by   Pixie.RN
    To those of you who have shared stories of personal loss, my heart goes out to you. <3
    Last edit by Pixie.RN on May 17 : Reason: Typo
  10. by   brownbook
    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 more could be done.
    Thank you for sharing, I am sorry for your loss. I wish I had some magical words to comfort you.
  11. by   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.
  12. by   boquiabierta
    Quote from LovingLife123
    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.
    Thank you for sharing your expertise, and I hope everyone reads these excellent accounts from people who actually know!
  13. by   SmilingBluEyes
    So many people against being organ donors, change their minds when their loved one is in End Stage Renal Failure and then "see the light" and are suddenly pro-organ donation. I see many patients go on to live full, happy, joyful lives once receiving the kidney they waited YEARS for. It's not a speedy or thoughtless process by any means.

    If it were my family or me depending on a donation to save our lives, why would I be against it? You can be against donation, then one day find YOURSELF on that long, long transplant list, waiting to die.....or maybe, live.

    I agree there is more to this story and the actual argument against organ donation in the OP a bit of a red herring.

    PS I am an organ donor. My family understands my wishes very clearly. I really don't care how it's done when I am dead. My body is healthy and countless lives could benefit from my donation. From stem cells, to corneal transplants, to multiple transplants, I could literally save/change many lives with my one body. I have personally witnessed the joy and gratitude of many who came back to "show off their shiny new kidneys" over the years in my specialty. If no one donates, they are doomed to dialysis til they die, as it stands currently. An awful, difficult, painful way to live.
    Last edit by SmilingBluEyes on May 18