|11 January, 2019

New rules for organ donation from brain-dead in UAE

The Ministry of Health and Prevention (Mohap) has issued a five-step Standardised Critical Care Notification and UAE Organ Brain Death Diagnosis Protocol.

Image used for illustrative purpose. Doctors Consult Over An MRI Scan Of The Brain.

Image used for illustrative purpose. Doctors Consult Over An MRI Scan Of The Brain.

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UAE - All intensive care units (ICUs) of UAE hospitals have been asked to prepare for organ donation from the brain-dead and inform relevant health authorities of potential donors.

The Ministry of Health and Prevention (Mohap) has issued a five-step Standardised Critical Care Notification and UAE Organ Brain Death Diagnosis Protocol that identifies brain death in those who meet the criteria as a potential organ donor as being:

Individual of any age; has experienced a severe neurological insult (post-resuscitation, cerebral anoxia, CVA, cerebral haemorrhage, encephalopathy, traumatic brain injury and a Glasgow score of <8) and requires mechanical ventilation.

This is followed by a concise team work by the National Transplant Committee, coordinators and inclusion of the family.

Omar Oumeish, executive director of the Dubai Healthcare City Authority (DHCA), while commenting on the protocol, said: "Since we in the DHCA conducted the first kidney transplant surgery in 2016 in Dubai, we have witnessed advancements in the field of organ transplantation, enabling healthcare organisations to improve and save more lives.

"As the only destination for kidney transplant in Dubai, we are confident that such new protocols along with robust regulations and mechanisms will enable us to create a health system that meets the growing healthcare needs of its citizens. We are privileged to have been able to give a new lease of life to five adults and two children through kidney transplants and in the years to come we look forward to seeing heightened awareness, increase in organ donors and the opportunity to save more lives. During Arab Health, this year, we would bring in focus the subject and celebrate organ donations with the families that have benefitted," he told Khaleej Times.

The Dubai Health Authority (DHA) has also issued a circular to all health facilities (ICUs) to adhere to national procedures for reporting critical cases of brain injury that can evolve into brain death.

The circular asks them to follow the UAE Brain Death Protocol in order to provide the necessary support and build the required integration between different health authorities to provide unique opportunity to practise the right to donate and save organ failure patient's lives.

It has also asked all health facilities to adhere to the instructions to avoid any violations or penalties.

"To declare brain death, we need at least three physicians and there are a lot of tests and examinations that have to be performed," said Dr Abdul Hamid Sinan, general and laproscopic surgery consultant at Al Sharq Hospital, Fujairah, as well as HPB and Liver Transplant Surgery, Canada.

"The doctors and intensivists have been informed to contact the health ministry and other authorities to inform of any potential donor," said Dr Sinan.

Dr Sherbaz Bichu, CEO, Aster Hospitals and specialist in anaesthesia at Aster Hospital, Mankhool, said: "We have prepped our ICU and have licensed our doctors who are experienced in handling liver and renal transplants in India. We have also equipped our ICUs for end of life care and employed nurses who are also highly trained and experienced in this.

"We've also suggested to the DHA, our preparedness to activate organ donation within our hospitals in Dubai," he said.

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