2 | Principles of ICU admission for organ donation

Healthcare Professionals

The following are the guiding principles for admission from ED to ICU to explore the possibility of organ donation.


  • ODNZ supports ICU admission solely to explore the possibility of organ donation when it is in accord with good clinical practice and is acceptable to all parties involved, i.e. families, ED staff, ICU staff and ODNZ.

  • ODNZ supports EDs recognising opportunities for organ donation. When ED staff identify a potential donor, they should first discuss this with the local intensivist and ODNZ who have the necessary knowledge and experience in organ donation.

  • It is the responsibility of the ICUs to determine brain death and to facilitate organ donation. It is impractical for this to occur in EDs due to the time involved in this process.

  • ODNZ recognises that ICU admission solely for organ donation has resource implications for the hospital (including the ED and the ICU) and the impact of this should be considered.

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