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Title: Perioperative nurses' experiences of caring for donation after cardiac death organ donors and their family within the operating room
Contributor(s): Smith, Zaneta  (author)orcid 
Publication Date: 2020
Early Online Version: 2019-05-13
DOI: 10.1177/1750458919850729
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Abstract: Background: Worldwide, operating rooms have seen the re-emergence of donation after cardiac death organ donors to increase the number of available organs. There is limited information on the issues perioperative nurses encounter when caring for donor patients after cardiac death who proceed to organ procurement surgery. Objectives: The purpose of this paper is to report a subset of findings derived from a larger study highlighting the difficulties experienced by perioperative nurses when encountering donation after cardiac death organ donors and their family within the operating room during organ procurement surgery from an Australian perspective. Methods: A qualitative grounded theory method was used to explore perioperative nurses’ (n ¼ 35) experiences of participating in multi-organ procurement surgery. Results: This paper reports a subset of findings of the perioperative nurses’ experiences directly related to donation after cardiac death procedures drawn from a larger grounded theory study. Participants revealed four aspects conceptualised as: ‘witnessing the death of the donation after cardiac death donor’; ‘exposure to family’; ‘witnessing family grief’ and ‘stepping into the family’s role by default’. Conclusion: Perioperative nurses’ experiences with donation after cardiac death procedures are complex, challenging and demanding. Targeted support, education and training will enhance the perioperative nurses’ capabilities and experiences of caring for the donation after cardiac death donor and their family with the operating room context.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Journal of Perioperative Practice, 30(3), p. 69-78
Publisher: Association for Perioperative Practice
Place of Publication: United Kingdom
ISSN: 2515-7949
Fields of Research (FoR) 2008: 111099 Nursing not elsewhere classified
Fields of Research (FoR) 2020: 520302 Clinical psychology
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2008: 920199 Clinical Health (Organs, Diseases and Abnormal Conditions) not elsewhere classified
920118 Surgical Methods and Procedures
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2020: 200199 Clinical health not elsewhere classified
200101 Diagnosis of human diseases and conditions
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
Appears in Collections:Journal Article
School of Health

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