First heart donation in controlled asystole from a person who had received aid to die in Parc Taulí

First heart donation in controlled asystole from a person who had received aid to die in Parc Taulí 1080 720 Parc Taulí current affairs

The donation heart transplant program in controlled asystole is a procedure that has been carried out in Spain since 2020 and which represents 18% of all heart transplants in 2023. Due to its complexity, it was only carried out in hospitals with cardiac surgery service. Although Parc Taulí does not have this surgery service, it has recently joined this program, thanks to the first donation of organs from a person who had received Aid in Dying (PRAM, euthanasia) and that he had expressed his will to be a donor.

The hospital coordinator of Organ and Tissue Donation and Transplantation at Parc Taulí, Dra. Chelo Guía, emphasizes that "Donation in controlled asystole is a process in which the donor dies from cardiorespiratory arrest, but immediately after the diagnosis of death, blood flow is restarted to prevent deterioration of the organs using an extracorporeal device and monitoring the heart and brain rate, if it is a heart donation".

In order to successfully carry out a process of this type, excellent coordination is required of all the teams led by the transplant coordinator, from the care professionals of the hospital itself to the different extraction teams from the other centers. "The support of the hospital management and the Catalan Transplantation Organization (OCATT) greatly facilitated the work of the teams", emphasizes Dra. guide

"It has been a challenge for the transplant coordination team to be able to implement heart donation in these donors at Parc Taulí. And the fact that it was the first post-PRAM donation made it even more special. We had a new experience. We were able to speak with the donor, discussing the whole process". In this sense, Dra. Guide remarks "the generosity of the donors and their families who decide, in a very complicated moment, to give life to other people who need it."

The process began in primary care, which contacted the Ethics Committee of Parc Taulí to inform the donation and transplant unit of the possible donation.

Parc Taulí is a reference hospital center in donations. In 2023 there were a total of 20 organ donors, which allowed for 44 transplants. During this year there have already been 12 organ donors, of which 6 were in the month of April, a record.

Since the entry into force of the law to receive the Death Benefit (PRAM) in 2021, Catalonia is the autonomous community with the most post-PRAM donors, with a total of 26 donors, a fact that has allowed to successfully transplant 91 organs, of which 4 were cardiac (data provided by the OCATT).

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