Today, we discussed the case of a renal transplant that almost failed for a 14-year old. The transplanted kidney came from a 24-year old who had fallen off a horse and was brain-dead.
The transplant failed because the intensive care doctor gave the 24-year old’s family an extra 10 mins to grieve before harvesting the organs. These 10 minutes led to additional “warm ischemia time”–time in which the kidney had no blood flow and became more damaged– which led to complications in the 14-year old’s case.
It bothers me that giving a family grieving time would have negative impact on the next patient receiving that organ. There must be a better way of doing this.