Can carbon monoxide-poisoned victims be organ donors?

Noritomo Fujisaki, Atsunori Nakao, Takaaki Osako, Takeshi Nishimura, Taihei Yamada, Keisuke Kohama, Hiroyuki Sakata, Michiko Ishikawa-Aoyama, Joji Kotani

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

13 Citations (Scopus)


The increasing demand for organ allografts to treat end-stage organ failure has driven changes in traditional donor criteria. Patients who have succumbed to carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning, a common cause of toxicological mortality, are usually rejected as organ donors. To fulfill the increasing demand, selection criteria must be expanded to include CO-poisoned donors. However, the use of allografts exposed to high CO concentrations is still under debate. Basic research and literature review data suggest that patients with brain death caused by CO poisoning should be considered appropriate organ donors. Accepting organs from CO-poisoned victims could increase the number of potential donors and lower the death rate of patients on the waiting lists. This review and reported cases may increase awareness among emergency department physicians, as well as transplant teams, that patients dying of CO exposure may be acceptable organ donors.

Original languageEnglish
Article number13
JournalMedical Gas Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 31 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine

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