Expanding controlled donation after the circulatory determination of death: statement from an international collaborative

Beatriz Dominguez-Gil, Nancy Ascher, Alexander M. Capron, Dale Gardiner, Alexander R. Manara, James L. Bernat, Eduardo Minambres, Jeffrey M. Singh, Robert J. Porte, James F. Markmann, Kumud Dhital, Didier Ledoux, Constantino Fondevila, Sarah Hosgood, Dirk Van Raemdonck, Shaf Keshavjee, James Dubois, Andrew McGee, Galen Henderson, Alexandra K. GlazierStefan G. Tullius, Sam D. Shemie, Francis L. Delmonico*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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A decision to withdraw life-sustaining treatment (WLST) is derived by a conclusion that further treatment will not enable a patient to survive or will not produce a functional outcome with acceptable quality of life that the patient and the treating team regard as beneficial. Although many hospitalized patients die under such circumstances, controlled donation after the circulatory determination of death (cDCDD) programs have been developed only in a reduced number of countries. This International Collaborative Statement aims at expanding cDCDD in the world to help countries progress towards self-sufficiency in transplantation and offer more patients the opportunity of organ donation. The Statement addresses three fundamental aspects of the cDCDD pathway. First, it describes the process of determining a prognosis that justifies the WLST, a decision that should be prior to and independent of any consideration of organ donation and in which transplant professionals must not participate. Second, the Statement establishes the permanent cessation of circulation to the brain as the standard to determine death by circulatory criteria. Death may be declared after an elapsed observation period of 5 min without circulation to the brain, which confirms that the absence of circulation to the brain is permanent. Finally, the Statement highlights the value of perfusion repair for increasing the success of cDCDD organ transplantation. cDCDD protocols may utilize either in situ or ex situ perfusion consistent with the practice of each country. Methods to accomplish the in situ normothermic reperfusion of organs must preclude the restoration of brain perfusion to not invalidate the determination of death.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)265-281
Number of pages17
JournalIntensive Care Medicine
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar-2021


  • Determination of death
  • Donation after the circulatory determination of death
  • Normothermic regional perfusion
  • Organ perfusion
  • Organ repair
  • Organ transplantation
  • Tissue and organ procurement
  • Withdrawal of life-sustaining therapy

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