Ann Transplant 2009; 14(1): 81-81
Transplantation is an efficient and generally accepted method of treatment in end-stage insufficiency of vascularised organs. Nowadays about one million people worldwide, and over a ten thousands in Poland, live with transplanted solid organ. However, the number of patients waiting for transplantation is still rising. Organs for transplantation can be harvested from living, genetically or emotionally related donor, but it refers only to twin organs such as kidneys and lungs, or those which can be donated and transplanted in a part, like segment of liver, intestine or bone marrow. Most commonly, organs for transplantation are harvested from deceased donors. There are many ethical, habituary, medical, legal and theological dilemmas concerning recovery of the organsIn this study, essential information about procedure of diagnosing the death of brain stem in potential organ donors was enclosed. The evolution of definition of death, from classical, based on cessation of circulation and breathing, to so called "new modified" definition, that recognizes as dead a person with proven irreversible damage of brain stem, was discussed. Stages of brain stem death recognition, most common causes of central nervous system breakage, essentials of sufficiency assessment of particular organs and systems, and contraindications for harvesting organs for transplantation are presented.