Organ donation is part of intensive care in Sweden. When a patient receiving intensive care develops total cerebral infarction (blockage of circulation to the brain) it is the job of intensive care to enable organ donation
A well-functioning donation system is the basis for all transplant operations. When, during ongoing respirator treatment, a suspicion arises that the patient is developing complete cerebral infarction, care and treatment of vital functions can continue until it has been possible to complete the diagnosis based on the assessment of a doctor.
The care provided during this period is carried out in order to establish a reasonable basis for the assessment of prognosis and to consider how ongoing care should be carried out, or in order to be able to conclude with certainty that the patient developed complete cerebral infarction.
All donation activities are carried out on the basis of the deceased's documented consent or verbally stated wishes, stated via the deceased’s relatives.
In the absence of this, consent is assumed, i.e. one assumes that the deceased has a positive attitude to organ and tissue donation even though this has not been clearly stated.
Donation of organs for transplantation is a matter of:
- To remove: Are we as healthcare staff permitted to care for the deceased’s organs?
- To donate: I, the deceased, have previously expressed a willingness to donate.
- To receive: Being able to live on thanks to another person's generosity, not at another person's expense
- To care for: Our responsibility as healthcare staff is to see to the identification and management of potential organ donations
- Making a decision: Our collective rights and responsibilities. Can be seen as consideration for the family and "a will"
A potential organ donor is an intensive care patient receiving invasive ventilator treatment diagnosed with complete cerebral infarction and identified as medically suitable for organ donation (no medical or forensic contraindications for organ donation).