WHAT IS DCD? - DONATION AFTER CIRCULATORY DEATH
DCD is an option for families of patients with severe brain damage or a devastating illness, who do not meet the complete criteria for brain death. After a physician has determined that a patient has no chance of survival and the family has decided to withdraw ventilator support, the family is offered the option of Donation After Circulatory Death. If the family agrees, the patient is moved to an operating room where the patient’s physician withdraws support. In some situations, support may be withdrawn in the intensive care unit. Once the patient’s heart stops beating, the physician declares death. Following an additional five minutes of waiting to ensure the heart does not start beating again, organ recovery begins. Most often, the kidneys can be recovered, but the lungs, liver and pancreas are also possibilities.