What is cardiac death?

Cardiac death means the heart is no longer beating and circulation has stopped. Donation after cardiac death, or DCD, is only considered after a loved one has no hope of recovery and the family has decided to remove the ventilator. After the family decides to remove the ventilator, and the loved one is deemed to be a donor candidate, the family’s loved one is allowed to pass away peacefully with the assistance of all appropriate end-of-life comfort measures. If the family’s loved one passes away within a specified time frame, and death is pronounced by the attending physician (not a part of the transplant team), the patient is taken into surgery to recover organs and tissues.

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