Contraindications and Considerations

Absolute and Organ Specific Contraindications to donation

A list of the absolute and organ specific contraindications to donation can be found here.

The following websites can be useful reference documents.

Council of Europe. Criteria for preventing the transmission of neoplastic diseases in organ donation. Council of Europe Publishing (2006) More information

NHSBT/BTS Guidelines for Consent for Solid Organ Transplantation in Adults (2011) More information

SaBTO Guidance on the Microbiological Safety of Human Organs, Tissues and Cells used in Transplantation (2011) More information

Warrens et al (2012) Advising Potential Recipients on the Use of Organs
From Donors With Primary Central Nervous System Tumours Transplantation Volume 93, Number 4, February 27, 2012 More information

Contraindications for transplantation in the recipient

Contraindications for transplantation in the recipient vary for each solid organ transplant type. Please see individual organ policies at:

Decision to List a patient on the transplant waiting list

The decision to list a patient for an organ transplant is normally made after a full patient assessment, discussion with the patient, their family and then finally at a meeting attended by members of the multi-disciplinary team. This MDT meeting should have recorded minutes including attendees and reasons for decisions made. The recipient transplant coordinator is often the person that will contact the patient soon after the listing meeting and inform the patient of the decision made at the listing meeting.

Consenting a patient

If the patient is suitable for transplantation they will ideally attend a consultation with both the consultant and recipient coordinator to discuss the listing process, donation, and the risks and benefits of transplantation and what life might be like post transplant. This is an opportunity for further patient and family education and it is good practice to give this information both orally and in writing so the patient and their family can read the information together later at home. A fully informed consent will then be gained and the conversation documented clearly in the patients’ notes. This should include;

  • How to stay as healthy as possible whilst listed
  • When to notify the transplanting centre of any illness or infection
  • The importance of notifying the transplant centre of any sensitizing events e.g. blood transfusions, pregnancies or infections
  • How to contact their transplant coordinator
  • How they will be contacted when an organ becomes available
  • Different types of donors and specific donor risks
  • The risks and benefits of the proposed transplant
  • How they will travel to the transplant centre at the time of transplantation
  • Information that the donor family will be given about the recipient
  • Information that the recipient is entitled to know about the donor
  • What to expect post transplant
  • Meeting a transplant recipient to discuss their experiences
If the patient does not want to be informed of any of the risks this must be documented and signed by the clinician and a witness in the patients notes. Consent should be re-affirmed every 12 months whilst the patient is active on the transplant waiting list and again when they are brought in for transplantation in line with BTS guidelines for consent for solid organ transplantation in Adults. Please see policy at

Donors with specific risks

Some patients may decide that they do not want to receive organs from certain donors i.e. DCD donors or donors with specific high risks. This must be recorded with NHSBT at the time of registration rather than waiting until the time when the organ becomes available.

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