Organ Donation after Fatal Poisoning

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Abstract

In Belgium, as in many countries, the number of individuals awaiting allograft organ transplantation exceeds the number of available grafts. Patients dying from head trauma or massive intracranial bleeding represent the majority of donors. In contrast, it can be estimated that very few allograft organs are obtained from patients who died from acute poisoning. In the US and UK, a survey of organ donor characteristics shows that poisoned donors currently represent usually less than 1% of all organ donors. The data from the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN) indicate that among the 6081 patients considered as potential organ donors in 2001, poisoning was the cause of death in 83 cases (1.4%).1 This percentage slightly increased in comparison to the data obtained in 1994 (0.6%).