Poster Discussion Abstracts
Aims & Objectives:
Despite the increased rate of organ donation in the UK, paediatric donation is still a relatively rare event. The death of paediatric patients has been shown to elicit post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms in up to 81% of staff, as well as moral distress in healthcare professionals. Organ donation should form part of end-of-life care, however, its impact on healthcare professionals is unknown. This study aimed to explore the impact that organ donation has on paediatric critical care healthcare professionals’ mental health.
A validated questionnaire about organ donation experience, containing PTSD and moral distress assessments, was distributed to PICU staff at University Hospital Southampton. The results were used to generate questions for a focus group to explore issues further. Data analysis included descriptive, statistical and thematic analysis as appropriate.
Various healthcare professionals completed the questionnaire, yielding a response rate of 71% (90/126). 14% of participants (8/56) exhibited PTSD symptoms and 37% (17/46) reported above average moral distress relating to paediatric organ donation. A Mann-Whitney U test showed those with PTSD symptoms were also more likely to have higher moral distress scores (P=<0.05). Common themes that arose during thematic analysis included ‘organ donation as a positive experience’ and ‘emotional strain’.
Although the death of patients is upsetting, organ donation itself is viewed as a positive experience by PICU staff, with staff displaying PTSD symptoms less for a child undergoing organ donation than when they die without proceeding to donation. However, organ donation can cause staff moral distress.