Causes of failure during the management process from identification of brain-dead potential organ donors to actual donation in Korea: A 5-year data analysis (2012-2016)

Mi im Kim, Jaesook Oh, Won Hyun Cho, Dong-Sik Kim, Cheol Woong Jung, Young Dong You, Jun Gyo Gwon, Jae myeong Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background: This retrospective study analyzed the causes of failure in the management process from the identification of brain-dead potential organ donors to actual donation in Korea over the past 5 years. Methods: Data of 8,120 potential brain deaths reported to the Korea Organ Donation Agency were used, including information received at the time of reporting, donation suitability evaluation performed by the coordinator after the report, and data obtained from interviews of hospital medical staff and the donor's family. Results: From January 2012 to December 2016, the total number of brain-dead potential organ donors in Korea was 8,120, of which 2,348 (28.9%) underwent organ procurement surgery with designated recipients. While the number of transplant donors has increased over time, the ratio of transplant donors to medically suitable brain-dead donors has decreased. The common causes of donation failure included donation refusal (27.6%), non-brain death (15.5%), and incompatible donation (11.6%); 104 potential donors (7.8%) were unable to donate their organs because they were not pronounced brain dead. Conclusion: The rate of successful organ donation may be increased by analyzing the major causes of failure in the brain-dead organ donation management process and engaging in various efforts to prevent such failures.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere326
JournalJournal of Korean Medical Science
Issue number50
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Dec 1



  • Brain Dead
  • Donor
  • Failure
  • Organ
  • Transplantation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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