To reduce the growing waiting list for kidney transplantation, we explored the limits of kidney transplantation from donors after cardiac death by liberally accepting marginal donor kidneys for transplantation. As the percentage of primary non-function (PNF) increased, we evaluated our transplantation program and implemented changes to reduce the high percentage of PNF in 2005, followed by a second evaluation over the period 2006-2009. Recipients of a kidney from a donor after cardiac death between 1998 and 2005 were analyzed, with PNF as outcome measure. During the period 2002-2005, the percentage of PNF increased and crossed the upper control limits of 12% which was considered as unacceptably high. After implementation of changes, this percentage was reduced to 5%, without changing the number of kidney transplantations from donors after cardiac death. Continuous monitoring of the quality of care is essential as the boundaries of organ donation and transplantation are sought. Meticulous donor, preservation, and recipient management make extension of the donor potential possible, with good results for the individual recipient. Liberal use of kidneys from donors after cardiac death may contribute to a reduction in the waiting list for kidney transplantation and dialysis associated mortality.
Hoogland, E. R., Snoeijs, M. G., Habets, M. A., Brandsma, D. S., Peutz-Kootstra, C. J., Christiaans, M. H., & van Heurn, L. W. (2013). Improvements in kidney transplantation from donors after cardiac death. Clinical Transplantation, 27(3), E295-301. https://doi.org/10.1111/ctr.12107