Knoweldge and attitudes of health professionals on organ donation

Download PDF

Organ donation is a distinctive life- saving activity that augments the quality of life of wide range of individuals who are in dire need for organ replacements. Around the world, the need for donation and transplantation of the human organs are rapidly increasing and shortage of organ donation remains an unsolved problem. Besides therapeutic benefits, being a life enhancing factor for individuals, the organ donation and transplantation minimizes the health care organizations expenditure.

Although Epidemiological evidence shows that 92.7 % of the general public have a positive attitude to organ donation, health personnel have reported difficulties in being able to talk about organ donation and as a result , less than half of those likely to donate will be in a position to ultimately provide consent for donation. The rates of organ donation to meet the increasing demands are hampered by individual knowledge, attitudes and sociodemographic variables. It is well known that health care professionals play a vital role in donation and transplantation practices. Their knowledge, beliefs and opinions are critical to influence the individuals, family and community on organ / tissue donation

These conflicting findings explain that successful organ donation process fundamentally requires interventions on the part of the healthcare professional to guide the families. Therefore assessing the knowledge and attitude of the health personnel who procure organs for transplantation is important. The health care personnel are the crucial link within the organ donation and transplantation process. Although it is recognized that that not all the healthy personnel would be in a position to involve themselves in the organ procurement process, literature suggest that they play a vital role in supporting the process of organ procurement and transplantation and in raising awareness among public. Emerging evidence reveal that the health personnel demonstrate inadequate knowledge and experience in dealing with the process of organ procurement and transplantation. It has been shown that there is a paucity of knowledge about how to initiate discussion with the families of brain death patients on about organ donation. This could be related to non-systematic manner of training the health personnel in organs donation and transplantation from within other subjects.

Some literature explain the knowledge of nurses towards donation with brain death and few focused its attention on medical and other allied health professionals with cardiac deaths . Till date there has been no encompassing overview of the work on health care professionals’ perspectives on the organ donation and transplant processes in Saudi Arabia.

Evidence suggest that subjecting the health personnel for formal training on organ procurement can augment their knowledge perception and communication on organ donation ,eligibility criteria , brain death and harvesting procedures.

In addition, enhancing their knowledge about the types of organ suitable for procurement, local organ procurement organization, methods of registration, rules and regulations that govern the process of organ donation in the Kingdom could encourage involvement in positive form of social behavior among health professionals. It is therefore extremely essential to ensure that those who directly or indirectly influence the rates of organ harvesting and transplanting procedures are prepared and informed about the entire process required.