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P146: Organ and tissue donation from poisoned patients in the emergency department: a Canadian perspective

  • L. J. Staple (a1), J. MacIntyre (a1), N. G. Murphy (a1), S. Beed (a1) and C. LeBlanc (a1)...

Abstract

Introduction: Screening for organ and tissue donation is an essential skill for emergency physicians. In 2015, 4564 individuals were on a waiting list for organ transplant and 242 died while waiting. As Canadas donation rates are less than half that of other comparable countries, it is crucial to ensure we are identifying all potential donors. Patients deceased from poisoning are a source that may not be considered for referral as often as those who die from other causes. This study aims to identify if patients dying from poisoning represent an under-referred group and determine what physician characteristics influence referral decisions. Methods: In this cross-sectional unidirectional survey study, physician members of the Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians were invited to participate. Participants were presented with 20 organ donation scenarios that included poisoned and non-poisoned deaths, as well as one ideal scenario for organ or tissue donation used for comparison. Participants were unaware of the objective to explore donation in the context of poisoning deaths. Following the organ donation scenarios, a range of follow-up questions and demographics were included to explore factors influencing the decision to refer or not refer for organ or tissue donation. Results were reported descriptively and associations between physician characteristics and decisions to refer were assessed using odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals. Results: 208/2058 (10.1%) physicians participated. 25% did not refer in scenarios involving a drug overdose (n=71). Specific poisonings commonly triggering the decision to not refer included palliative care medications (n=34, 18%), acetaminophen (n=42, 22%), chemical exposure (n=48, 27%) and organophosphates (n=87, 48%). Factors associated with an increased likelihood to refer potential donors following overdose included previous organ and tissue donation training (OR=2.6), having referred in the past (OR=4.3), available donation support (OR=3.9), greater than 10 years of service (OR=2.1), large urban center (OR=3.8), holding emergency medicine certification (OR=3.6), male gender (OR=2.2, CI), and having indicated a desire to be a donor on government identification (OR=5.8). Conclusion: Scenarios involving drug overdoses were associated with under-referral for organ and tissue donation. As poisoning is not a contraindication for referral, this represents a potential source of donors. By examining characteristics that put clinicians at risk for under-referral of organ or tissue donors, becoming aware of potential biases, improving transplant knowledge bases, and implementing support and training programs for the organ and tissue donation processes, we have the opportunity to improve these rates and reduce morbidity and mortality for Canadians requiring organ or tissue donation.

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P146: Organ and tissue donation from poisoned patients in the emergency department: a Canadian perspective

  • L. J. Staple (a1), J. MacIntyre (a1), N. G. Murphy (a1), S. Beed (a1) and C. LeBlanc (a1)...

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