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Abstract PD-036: THE IMPACT OF PAEDIATRIC ORGAN DONATION ON CRITICAL CARE STAFF IN THE UK

Howard, A.1; Griksaitis, M.J.1,2

Pediatric Critical Care Medicine: June 2018 - Volume 19 - Issue 6S - p 41
doi: 10.1097/01.pcc.0000537438.99063.5c
Poster Discussion Abstracts
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1University of Southampton, Faculty of Medicine, Southampton, United Kingdom

2University Hospital of Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, Southampton Children’s Hospital, Southampton, United Kingdom

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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.

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Methods

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.

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Results

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’.

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Conclusions

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.

©2018The Society of Critical Care Medicine and the World Federation of Pediatric Intensive and Critical Care Societies