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Specialist training can double consent rates for child organ donation

Child organ donation rates are lower than those for adults but the presence of a specialist nurse during consent discussions can increase rates.

Child organ donation rates are lower than those for adults, according to recently published figures. However, rates of consent are higher if specialist nurses are involved in the discussion with family members about donation.

Although specialist nurses often had limited experience with children and young people and ‘struggled to develop productive relationships with paediatric services’ child organ donation in some cases doubled with a specialist nurse present.

The article, published in the journal Archives of Disease in Childhood, reported that consent for child organ donation in 2015-2016 was at at 57.6% for donation after brain death (DBD) and 31.8% and donation after circulatory definition of death (DCD).

For a donation to take place an organ donation team should be contacted so a full assessment can be made. Rates of referral of potential DBD and DCD donors from paediatric intensive care units were