Saturday, February 6, 2016

EMT Refresher: Can all patients be potential organ donors?

As an EMT you will come across hundreds of men and women who are organ donors. Can a patient immediately become an organ donor once the coroner is called on scene? Unfortunately the answer is no. There are a lot of rules that need to be followed when it comes to dealing with an organ donor as an EMT.

A signed donor card is needed as legal document.
The individual is patient first and then donor. Let's not forget to treat them with the respect that all patients deserve.
Hospital staff and patient family has final say on if the organs can be donated.
Communicate with medical direction that you possibly have an organ donor.
It's the physicians responsibility to determine death
Hypothermic patients can not be declared dead until rewarmed
Patient must be absent of pulse, breathing, and breath sounds
Patient must be completely unresponsive to any stimuli
No eye movement or pupil response
Absence of blood pressure
EMT must check for no reflexes.

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