Halachic Organ donor Society, 3926 W. Touhy Ave, Suite #365, Lincolnwood, IL, 60712-1028. Phone: 646-599-3895, Email: office@hods.org

The Potential Benefits of the Pediatric Nonheartbeating Organ Donor

This study examined the population of a large hospital’s pediatric intensive care unit to determine the potential importance of organ donation from donors without heartbeats. Children in the intensive care unit tend to be sicker than their adult counterparts. They have a higher rate of severe neurological damage and die faster when removed from life support. The study was prompted by the request of two families to donate their children’s organs though no formal program existed at the time of publication. Researchers found that routine use of non-heart-beating donation could increase the donor pool by an estimated 42% at their center. These findings demonstrate that pediatric donors without heartbeats would be ideal candidates for organ donation and call for the establishment of pediatric non-heart-beating criteria.