Managing the Donor

Steps to Ensure Donor Viability

LifeNet Health Coordinator's Role
After brain death is declared and consent is given, management of the patient is assumed by the LifeNet Health coordinator, whose key responsibilities include the following:
  • Determine potential donor medical suitability
  • Provide personal care and support to families
  • Assist families in understanding clinical issues and end of life decisions
  • Offer the family the opportunity to donate
  • Seek medical examiner approval, when necessary
  • Medical management of donor patient
  • Clinical tests for organ suitability
  • Organ placement (12-20 hours)
  • Schedule O.R. time with multiple recovery teams
  • Post-donation support and recognition of donor family
  • Follow-up with hospital

Management of the Brain Dead Patient
Time is a critical factor as the coordinator maintains the patient's hydration, blood pressure (> 90) and urinary output. Other key factors include:

  • Fluid resuscitation
  • Maintain normothermia
  • Electrolyte normalization
  • Cardiovascular support
  • Ventilator management
  • Hormone replacement
  • ACLS