Background: There is no specific guidelines concerning intraoperative management of brain-dead donors (BDD) during organ procurement (OP). This study aimed at describing usual anesthetic practices for BDD during an OP procedure and to assess the knowledge and self-confidence of French anesthesiologists with this practice.
Methods: An electronic, national and anonymous survey with closed-questions about anesthetic management of BDD was distributed to French anesthesiologists via the mailing list of the French Society of Anesthesiology and Intensive Care. The questionnaire included questions concerning monitoring, intraoperative resuscitation, anesthetic drugs use and confidence of the respondents.
Results: 458 responses were analyzed. Respondents were mainly attending physicians with more than 10 years of professional experience, equally distributed between university and non-university centers. Seventy-eight percent of them declared knowledge about guidelines regarding ICU management of BDD. Advanced hemodynamic monitoring and endocrine substitution were poorly considered by respondents (31% and 35% of respondents, respectively). 98% of the respondents used crystalloids for fluid resuscitation. During the procedure, use of neuromuscular blockers, opioids and sedative agents were considered by respectively 84%, 61% and 27% of the respondents. A very high level of agreement (10 [8-10], on a ten-points Likert-style scale) was reported concerning the expected impact of intraoperative anesthetic management on the primary function of grafts.
Conclusions: Declared anesthetic practice appeared in accordance with guidelines concerning ICU management of organ donors. Further studies are needed to evaluate the specific impact of intraoperative management during this procedure and thus the need for specific anesthetic guidelines.