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NOCA launches Irish potential donor audit Archive.php

The National Office of Clinical Audit (NOCA), in conjunction with HSE Organ Donation Transplant Ireland, has announced plans for the national expansion of the Irish Potential Donor Audit (IPDA) to every intensive care unit (ICU) and emergency department across the country on a phased basis. The announcement coincides with Organ Donor Awareness Week (20-27 April).

According to NOCA, the rollout marks a pivotal extension of the audit, which was piloted successfully in six hospitals where organ donation nurse managers and clinical leads in organ donation pioneered the project.

“The first phase sees an ambitious scale-up to an additional seven ICUs, totalling thirteen institutions committed to improving organ donation practices. Phase two aims to include all remaining ICUs and phase three will seek to include emergency departments following extensive engagement with emergency medicine personnel,” stated NOCA.

Key developments include:

  • The appointment of a dedicated Audit Manager.
  • The launch of innovative NOCA dashboards that provide hospitals with access to vital organ donation data to drive improvement.
  • The publication of a report on 2024 data, scheduled for 2025, featuring quality improvement stories and actionable recommendations.

Dr Alan Gaffney, Consultant Anaesthesiologist and Intensivist at Beaumont Hospital, Dublin, and Clinical Lead for the Irish Potential Donor Audit, stated: “The national rollout of the Irish Potential Donor Audit is a very welcome development for all those involved in caring for organ donors and their families. Our aim is to offer the possibility of organ donation to everyone who dies in circumstances where organ donation is a possibility and where it was that person’s wish. Auditing organ donation practices and processes by local organ donation nurses has been shown to increase organ donation opportunities.”

This expansive rollout follows comprehensive development and feasibility studies, including the 2023 Potential Donor Audit Development Project Report and the 2022 Feasibility Project Report. Additionally, a supplementary data report updating the 2023 development project report findings for the full calendar year will be available in Q2 2024 on the NOCA website. This will provide valuable information to the healthcare system to drive improvement in organ donation.

Ms Martina Goggin, Patient and Public Interest Representative for the IPDA governance committee, commented: “Organ Donor Awareness Week is a very important week in the calendar of the organ donation community. This week serves as a crucial reminder of the transformative impact organ donation can have—not just for recipients, but for donor families as well. As the parent of an organ donor, I feel it is most important that potential donors are always identified, and their families are given the opportunity of considering organ donation, by being spoken to by an appropriately trained organ donation specialist.

“Rolling out the Irish Potential Donor Audit at this time is, I feel, very appropriate, as the audit aims to help identify every potential donor at end of life and focus on best practice in approaching and speaking with donor families at a most difficult time of overwhelming anguish. If we had not been approached and asked about donating our son’s organs, quite possibly we would not have thought of it. How disappointing and devastating that would be knowing the comfort organ donation gives, and the ongoing benefit, to a donor family.”

Further information about the Irish Potential Donor Audit is available here:

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The Medical Independent 11th June 2024

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