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Are terminally ill patients dying in the ICU suitable for non-heart beating organ donation?

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the feasibility of implementing a program of controlled non-heart beating organ donation, in patients undergoing the withdrawal of intensive care treatment. DESIGN AND SETTING: Prospective observational study. Medical and Surgical ICUs in a tertiary university hospital. PATIENTS: Consecutive patients younger than 70[Symbol: see text]years dying in the ICU after treatment withdrawal for dire neurological prognosis. MEASUREMENTS AND RESULTS: We analyzed prospectively collected data from the ICU clinical information system. Seventy-three of 516 ICU deaths (13%) were identified, equally distributed among traumatic, stroke, and anoxic brain injury. The management and the course in these three diagnostic categories were similar.

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