Paediatric Organ Donation

The Organ Donation Task Force (2008) saw an associated 50% increase in donation within the overall population, this was not reflected in paediatrics where rates did not increase until 2013 – 14.

Deceased paediatric donors, transplants and active transplant list in the UK

There are twenty seven Paediatric Intensive Care Units (PICU) across the country with around 13,000 children admitted each year; nearly half of those being under one year of age. It is relatively rare for children to die in a Paediatric Intensive Care Unit; compared to adults admitted to intensive care, the survival rates for paediatric patients are much higher, with over 95% survival. (source: Paediatric Intensive Care Medicine - Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health).

UK consent rates for paediatric organ donation fall below the national average for the adult population.

DBD and DCD consent/authorisation rates by age group and donor type, 1 April 2015 to 31 March 2016

End of life care guidance and practice does differ from adult practice and care of the family unit as a whole is a core key principle. PICU systems should never prevent families being offered the opportunity to donate if this is a possibility.

Guidance endorsed by the Paediatric Intensive Care Society supports Department of Health, NICE and NHSBT guidance to ensure donation is a routine part of end of life care. Visit the Paediatric Intensive Care Society website and view the PICS standards. Specific benchmarking data is also available.

Next section: Living Donation

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