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The attitude and knowledge of intensive care physicians and nurses regarding organ donation in Hungary – It needs to be changed

Anikó Smudla, Sándor Mihály, Ilona Ökrös, Katalin Hegedűs, János Fazakas

Ann Transplant 2012; 17(3): 93-102

DOI: 10.12659/AOT.883463


Background:    The education of intensive care professionals can influence the number of transplantable organs. The aim of this cross-sectional study is to estimate the attitude and knowledge of intensive care staff as about organ donation.
    Material/Methods:    The self-completed questionnaire was completed at the Congress of the Hungarian Society of Anesthesiology and Intensive Therapy in 2011. Data, including attitudes about donation, attendance in an organ donation course, donation activity, self-reported knowledge of donor management, legislation, transplantation, and aftercare were collected from intensive care specialists (n=179) and nurses (n=103).
    Results:    An organ donation course was attended by 53.6% of physicians and 16.7% of nurses (p=0.000); the 59% of doctors and 64.7% of nurses who did not participate in education were not willing to do so. Older staff were more likely to attend the course (p<0.01). Organ donation activity was not influenced by age or type of staff (physician or nurse), but it was higher among staff who attended training (p<0.01). Independently from accepting the presumed consent legislation (91.1%), 66% of intensive care professionals supported the practice of requesting the consent of family for organ retrieval. Self-reported knowledge regarding the Eurotransplant, donor management, the law and ethics of donation, transplantation, and after care for transplanted patients was influenced by age, donation activity, education, type of staff (p<0.01).
    Conclusions:    Education, including knowledge concerning brain death, donor management and communication with family, needs to be part of the specialist training of intensive care professionals, with a refresher course every fifth year.

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