Deceased kidney donors
Deceased donors are people who die with organs that are suitable for transplantation.
Most donations occur when a person is declared brain dead. This is called donation after brain death. Brain death occurs when the brain is so badly damaged that it permanently stops functioning. This is usually because of bleeding in the brain, a stroke, infection or severe head injury.
Another method of organ donation is known as donation after cardiac death or donation after circulatory death. Potential donation after circulatory death donors are patients in the intensive care unit who have suffered irreversible brain injury and may be near death, but do not meet formal brain death criteria. These patients have no chance of survival without ongoing artificial ventilation or life support. In these cases, the family has decided to stop care. When the patient’s heart stops beating, the organs are then removed in the operating room. These organs have had some loss of oxygen after the heart stops beating. This may make kidneys from this type of donor slow to start working.