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Transplant Proc. 2007 Mar;39(2):344-5.

Organ donation in suicides.

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  • 1Central de Transplantes do Estado do Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

There are few reports in the literature analyzing brain death epidemiology in suicides, or the rate of donation and family authorization in such situations.

OBJECTIVE:

The objectives of this study were to analyze the frequency of suicide as a cause of brain death and to compare the donation rates among this population with other causes of brain death.

PATIENTS AND METHODS:

We reviewed records from 2627 potential donors between 1988 and 2004.

RESULTS:

Within that period, 101 (3.8%) cases of brain death were recorded as suicides. The mean age was significantly lower (P < .05) in cases of suicide than for other causes (26.2 + 11.1 vs 34.4 + 16.5 years); there was a male prevalence (76.2% vs 60.8%). As to suicides, the donation rate was significantly higher than in other situations (62.3% vs 43.8%). This was due to a lower rate of negative family responses (17.8% vs 32.1%).

CONCLUSIONS:

Suicide is a frequent cause of brain death (3.8%), mainly among young men. The donation rate in this group is higher than that due to other causes of death because of a lower negative response rate by the family. The explanation remains to be clarified for such a low refusal rate for organ donation by the relatives of potential donors due to suicide.

PMID:
17362725
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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