Frequently Asked Questions


How do I report a clinical governance issue?

Clinical governance incidents are now reportable on-line.

Incidents must be reported promptly within 24 hours of occurring. Events are classified in the following way.

Incident - any event in the organ donation and/or transplantation process which can or does affect the donor, recipient safety or the quality of the organs for transplantation.

Any incident falling into the categories below must be reported immediately to NHSBT via the Duty Office on telephone number 01179757580

SAE (Serious Adverse Event) – Any untoward occurrence associated with the retrieval, testing, processing, storage or distribution of organs that might lead to death or life threatening, disabling or incapacitating conditions for patients (or which results in or prolongs hospitalisation or morbidity).

SUI (Serious Untoward Incident) - any unintended or untoward event which has the potential to cause serious harm and/or to attract public and media interest. May be a clinical or non clinical event.

Never Event - a serious, largely preventable patient safety incident that should not occur if the available preventive measures have been implemented by the healthcare provider

SAR (Serious Adverse Reaction) – Any unintended response in a donor or in a patient associated with the retrieval or transplantation of organs that is fatal, life-threatening, disabling or incapacitating, or which results in or prolongs hospitalisation or morbidity.

What happens to an organ that isn’t placed/accepted by a transplanting centre by the end of the retrieval?

The organ will be packed as usual at the donor hospital and then will return with the NORS team to their hospital. The organ will continue to be offered and fast tracked out by the Duty office. If the organ is placed/accepted for transplant after it has returned with the NORS team the recipient coordinator will be notified and asked to address the organ box asap, the duty office will arrange for transportation of the organ to the other transplanting unit. If the transplanting trust does not except the organ for transplantation and there is consent for research the recipient coordinator will be notified of this and asked to address the organ box. The research company will arrange transport for the organ. See NORS Standards.

How long should retrieval team wait after withdrawal of treatment?

It has been agreed by the advisory groups that following withdrawal of treatment from a potential DCD donor, retrieval teams must wait as follows:

  • The cardiothoracic teams must wait at least 2 hours for the onset of functional warm perfusion
  • The abdominal teams must wait for 3 hours for the onset of functional warm perfusion

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