Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date


Publication Title

Critical Care Medicine


INTRODUCTION: The annual incidence of hanging in Australia & New Zealand had increased in the past decade, with an increasing number of such patients appearing to become organ donors. The rates of organ donation following death due to hanging is unknown and the characteristics of this cohort of donors have not been previously described.

METHODS: The Australia and New Zealand Organ Donor (ANZOD) registry donor data (2006 - 2015), was analysed, to describe the cohort of donors following hanging, in comparison to other donors.

RESULTS: During the study period, both the number and proportion of donors due to hanging have increased between 2006 - 2015. The probability that a victim of hanging would become an organ donor progressively increased from 0.5% to 3%. Compared to other donor groups, the donor population due to hanging is younger (median age 30 years Vs. 50 years), with less co-morbidities, but a higher incidence of smoking. There is no significant difference in the proportion who indicated a prior intent to donate between post-hanging donors (34%) and other donors (38%). A higher proportion of donors post hanging donated via the Donation after circulatory death (DCD) pathway (36.28%) compared to donors with other causes of death (24.2%). Patients in the post hanging cohort donated an average of 4.19 organs, compared to 3.62 organs in the other donor cohort.

CONCLUSIONS: It is expected that this retrospective analysis will better inform clinical decision making surrounding organ donation, including consenting approaches while providing care to the patients and families in this challenging group with a high organ donation potential, as demonstrated in this study. Further investigation is required to determine which aspects of health care influence the donation rates in victims of hanging and the outcomes from transplanted organs.





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