The role of anesthesiologists in organ donation

Julius Balogh, Srikar Jonna, Geraldine Diaz, George W. Williams, Marina Moguilevitch, Evan G. Pivalizza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


With the continued deficit of available organs for transplantation, optimal care of the brain-dead and cardiac death donor is essential to optimize quality and quantity of precious organs. Anesthesiologists are a critical part of the perioperative surgical retrieval process, although individually, may rarely care for a donor. Prospective data to inform specific clinical practices is sparse although educational resources exist to guide anesthesiologists with ethical or clinical questions and protocols from intensive care units and organ procurement organizations serve as useful templates for maintenance of organ function. Pre-surgical resuscitation, optimization and homeostatic strategies should be continued into the operating room. Cautious titration of low dose anesthetic and analgesic agents may be required to blunt sympathetic and spinal reflexes but should not aggravate hypotension and muscle relaxation is recommended to facilitate surgical exposure. Anesthesiologists should be aware of procedural and pharmaceutical aspects of the donation process, including re-intubation of a deceased donor after death is confirmed when lung retrieval is planned.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100116
JournalTransplantation Reports
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2022


  • Anesthesiologist
  • Brain death
  • Donation after cardiac death
  • Donor management
  • Organ donation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Transplantation


Dive into the research topics of 'The role of anesthesiologists in organ donation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this