Strange Boat - Organ Donation Awareness


Potential Organ Donor Audit Recommended by NOCA

The National Office of Clinical Audit (NOCA) announces the publication of the Potential Donor Audit Feasibility Study Report. 

At present, there are over 600 people awaiting organ transplants in Ireland. Organ donation saves lives and improves the quality of life for people with end-stage organ failure. It involves the selflessness and compassion of organ donors and their families, supported by dedicated frontline organ donation personnel (ODP) and HSE Organ Donation Transplant Ireland (ODTI). Out of 72 countries worldwide, Ireland ranks 28th in terms of organ donation rates. Ireland’s rate of organ donation prior to the pandemic was 18 per million population compared to Spain at 49 per million population. 

The study was commissioned by HSE ODTI to ascertain the need for a national clinical audit of organ donation practices. 

Martina Goggin, Public and Patient Interest Representative remarked “The benefits of organ donation to the family of a donor cannot be overemphasised, as the comfort and consolation in knowing your loved one has made the noblest act of generosity by giving the gift of life to others is like a light that continues to shine even on the darkest days”. 

The key findings of the feasibility study included clear guidance from countries leading in organ donation on what should be included in a potential donor audit. Evidence from other countries suggests that a potential donor audit is a key driver of improvement in organ donation rates. Current data collection in Ireland does not provide the necessary information to identify all missed organ donation opportunities. 

This study recommends the development of a potential donor audit starting with implementation in one hospital in six hospital groups prior to expanding the implementation to all acute hospitals, including paediatric hospitals as organ donation nurse manager resources increase. This will include data collection by specially trained organ donation personnel, the collection of detailed information on all of the processes of care leading to organ donation and identifying detailed reasons for missed opportunities and, development of national guidelines. This data will empower the relevant personnel to identify all missed opportunities and provide the necessary information to drive improvement in organ donation rates. Over time, this data will ensure that all potential donors are given the opportunity to donate organs should this be their wish. 

Dr Alan Gaffney, Clinical Lead for the Potential Donor Audit Feasibility Study commented “The recommendation for a National Potential Donor Audit is a huge step towards ensuring that every person who dies in circumstances where organ donation is possible is offered that opportunity”. 

Prof Jim Egan, Director of Organ Donation Transplant Ireland commented "A targeted Potential Donor Audit under the auspices of NOCA will be a key enabler to allow enhanced rates of organ donation and transplantation in Ireland".

For further information contact: 
Aisling Connolly, NOCA Communications & Events Lead: / 086 4083687 
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