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Lessons from a pilot for uncontrolled donation after circulatory death in the ED in the UK
  1. Matthew James Reed1,2,
  2. Ian Currie2,3,
  3. John Forsythe2,3,4,
  4. Irene Young4,
  5. John Stirling3,
  6. Lesley Logan4,
  7. Gareth R Clegg1,2,
  8. Gabriel C Oniscu2,3
  1. 1 Emergency Medicine Research Group Edinburgh (EMERGE), Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK
  2. 2 College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK
  3. 3 Edinburgh Transplant Centre, Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK
  4. 4 NHS Blood and Transplant, The Courtyard Callendar Business Park, Falkirk, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Matthew James Reed, Emergency Medicine Research Group Edinburgh (EMERGE), Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, Edinburgh EH16 4SA, UK; mattreed1{at}


Worldwide there is a shortage of available organs for patients requiring transplants. However, some countries such as France, Italy and Spain have had greater success by allowing donations from patients with unexpected and unrecoverable circulatory arrest who arrive in the ED. Significant advances in the surgical approach to organ recovery from donation after circulatory death (DCD) led to the establishment of a pilot programme for uncontrolled DCD in the ED of the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh. This paper describes the programme and discusses the lessons learnt.

  • resuscitation
  • emergency care systems, emergency departments
  • cardiac arrest

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  • MJR and GCO contributed equally.

  • Contributors MJR, IC, JF, IY, JS, LL, GRC and GCO all conceived the study, wrote the paper and approved the final version.

  • Funding MJR and GCO are supported by NHS Research Scotland Career Researcher Clinician/Fellowship awards.

  • Competing interests JF is the Medical Director for Organ Donation and Transplant, part of NHS Blood and Transplant.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Ethics approval This study was deemed to be a service evaluation and full Ethics approval was not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.