Donor Management Clinical Resources and Tools

Resources and materials to support the clinical management of deceased organ donors

Brochure for Families and Substitute Decision Makers

To accompany the 2020 Canadian clinical practice guideline for the medical management of deceased organ donors, Canadian Blood Services has created a knowledge translation tool specific to families and substitute decision makers. Members of the guideline panel along with organ and tissue donor coordinators, donor families, and transplant recipients, contributed to the creation of a pamphlet that provides general information about procedures that may be used to evaluate and prepare a potential donor’s organs for donation and transplantation.  These resources are available upon request in English and French.

Donor Management Evidence Bulletins

Evidence bulletins are an attractive, user-friendly, evidence-based knowledge translation tool. Each bulletin is a one-page, letter-size card addressing one specific intervention in the management of deceased donors, highlighting:

  • the recommendation and relevant context
  • key research underlying the recommendation
  • bedside notes, and
  • a short bibliography, for those interested in accessing the original literature.

Evidence Bulletins available in print upon request in both English and in French:

These evidence bulletins were created for new recommendations, those with a strong quality of evidence, and those for which there was a change in the recommendation from the 2006 guideline.  In total, seven evidence bulletins were created: Corticosteroids, Thyroid Hormone, Vasopressin and DDAVP, Transfusion, Nutrition, Lung Protective Ventilation, and Hypothermia. 

The efficacy of the evidence bulletins was tested by key stakeholder groups, including: intensive care unit (ICU) physicians, residents, nurses, and organ donation organization (ODO) coordinators.  They were evaluated for their content, clarity, ease of use, attractiveness, likelihood of uptake and influencing donor care, as well as anticipated implementation challenges. 

Order Sets 

These order sets for deceased organ donor management are based on the Canadian clinical practice guideline published in 2020. Hospitals, intensive care units, and provincial organ donation organizations may adopt or adapt these as standing orders to optimize organ function during medical management of neurologically deceased organ donors. 

Of note, unless indicated by asterisk (*), all recommendations are conditional and based on low or very low certainty of evidence and as such may not be applied in all scenarios or for every patient depending on situational factors and the best judgement of the clinician.

For background, read the Canadian clinical practice guideline Medical management to optimize donor organ potential


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