Lack of knowledge and experience highlights the need for a clear paediatric organ and tissue donation protocol in the Netherlands

A Vileito*, M J Siebelink, K M Vermeulen, Aae Verhagen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Aim This study explored the attitudes of medical professionals to organ and tissue donation in paediatric intensive care units (PICUs) and neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) in the Netherlands. It also examined their compliance with the existing Dutch donation protocol and assessed whether a paediatric donation protocol was needed.

Methods We invited 966 professionals working in all eight PICUs and the two largest NICUs to complete an online survey from December 2016 until April 2017.

Results A quarter (25%) took part and they included PICU intensivists, neonatologists, nurses and other health and allied professionals. Most were female and nurses. More than half (54%) of the PICU respondents considered paediatric organ donation to be very important and 53% supported tissue donation. In contrast, only 22% of the NICU respondents believed that both neonatal organ and tissue donation were very important. Familiarity and compliance with the existing national donation protocol were low. PICU nurses had significantly less experience than PICU intensivists and felt less comfortable with the donation process. None of the NICU respondents had prior donation experience.

Conclusion Paediatric intensive care units and NICU professionals lack specialised knowledge and experience on organ and tissue donation. A comprehensive and clear paediatric donation protocol is clearly needed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2402-2408
Number of pages7
JournalActa Paediatrica
Issue number11
Early online date2-Mar-2020
Publication statusPublished - 18-Mar-2020


  • neonatal
  • organ donation
  • paediatric
  • protocol
  • tissue donation

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