Belgian modified classification of Maastricht for donors after circulatory deathBelgian modified classification of Maastricht for donors after circulatory death
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
Antwerp Surgical Training, Anatomy and Research Centre (ASTARC)
2014New York, N.Y., 2014
Transplantation proceedings. - New York, N.Y.
46(2014):9, p. 3138-3142
University of Antwerp
Background Non-heart-beating donors, or, in a more recent and international definition, donors after circulatory death, are a potential and additional group of deceased persons who are able to add organs to the pool. Methods A new classification is proposed on the basis of the result of a consensus of experts issued from all Belgian transplant centers. Results The first level of definition is simple and based on whether the situation is uncontrolled (categories I and II) or controlled (categories III, IV, and V). In category I, the patient is declared dead on arrival and, in category II, there is an unsuccessful resuscitation whether it occurred out or in the hospital for both situations. Category III is the most usual situation in which the treating physician and family are awaiting cardiac arrest to declare the death of the patient. Category IV is always characterized by cardiac arrest during brain death. The special situation of the Belgian law allowing the euthanasia is elaborated in category V, euthanasia, and includes patients who grant access to medically assisted circulatory death. Organ donation after euthanasia is allowed under the scope of donation after circulatory death. Conclusions This classification conserves the skeleton of the Maastricht one, as it is simple and clear, but classifies easily the different donors after circulatory death types by processes for ethical issues and for the non-medical or non-specialized reader interested in the field. This is also an argument for public consideration and trust in the difficult field of organ donation. Nonheart-beating donors (NHBD), or, in a more recent and international definition, donors after circulatory death (DCD), are a potential and additional group of deceased persons who are able to add organs to the pool. Harmonization in definition and classification would be very useful.