Organ and Tissue Donation Knowledge Among Intensive Care Unit Nurses

Transplantation Proceedings

Volume 5 - Number

Article Type: ---- Unspecified ----

Introduction. Increased cadaveric donation may be achieved by improving medical staff education to enhance consent rates. This study was designed to examine the critical items that influence nurse knowledge regarding the concepts of brain death and the attitudes toward cadaveric donor renal transplantation. These findings may be useful to evaluate future progress in education. Subjects and methods. A 31-item questionnaire was distributed to 418 nurses in 24 intensive care units (ICUs) in our hospitals. In addition to initial data regarding age, sex, and marital status, knowledge about donation was evaluated by eight questions. The first four questions pertained to judical and legal knowledge, the second two to economic knowledge, and the last two to concepts of brain death. Results. Three hundred and two women and 116 men participated in this study. Their mean age was 31.98 years (range = 22-55 years). Two hundred fifty-six (61.2%) of them were married. Three hundred sixteen (75.6%) expressed favorable attitudes regarding cadaveric donation. The major reason for their consent was humanity, and the major reason for their disagreement was "body respect." Of the 418 nurses, 105 (25.1%) stated positive attitudes toward living kidney donation. Conclusion. The legal definition of death and the medical definition of death should be uniform in the view of society. To make all medical staff favor cadaveric renal transplantation, they should agree on a definition of death. It was observed that the relatively high rate of misinterpretation of the brain-death concept among respondents negatively affected nurses attitudes toward cadaveric renal transplant. It was concluded that the "concept of brain death" and the "preferences of transplant over other treatment modalities" are the two items that need further attention in educational programs for nurses.