Dubai: The Ministry of Health and Prevention has issued a notification to all intensive care units (ICUs) of UAE hospitals regarding organ donation from brain dead patients. This has been done to reiterate the provisions of the existing UAE brain death Protocol.

The ministry issued a five-step Standardised Critical Care Notification and UAE Organ Brain Death Diagnosis Protocol that will facilitate identification of brain death for purposes of meeting criteria for organ donation.

Dr Ali Abdul Kareem Al Obaidly, Chair of the UAE National Transplant Committee, told Gulf News that the ministry’s communication to all hospitals will pave the way for efficient brain death organ transplant following the previous decree no 550 of 2017.

The Decree No 550 of 2017, issued by Abdul Rahman Al Owais, Minister of Health and Prevention, specifically covers three main provisions, mainly death resulting from cardiac-respiratory arrest, death resulting from complete loss of brain functions and paediatric brain death.

This complements the articles included in the Federal Health Law No 5 of 2016 which includes provisions for cadaver organ transplantation excluding stem cells, blood cells and bone marrow transplants.

Before this law, doctors did not have authority to declare a brain-dead patient dead and did not have authority to switch off life support systems.

Defining brain death as an irreversible cessation of all functions of all parts of the brain, Dr Amin Hussain Al Amiri, Assistant Undersecretary for the Ministry’s Public Health Policy and Licensing sector, had previously old Gulf News: “The decree will facilitate organ transplant as one deceased person who is registered as an organ donor can donate six to seven organs, including cornea, liver and kidneys and can save two lives. The heart can be transplanted in one recipient while the ligaments, tendons and other tissues can be donated as well for needy patients.”

The new five step standardised critical notification will not only prepare hospitals better for organ donation but also facilitate the National Organ Transplant Committee in establishing a registry and pre-register potential donors for organ transplant. This will ensure optimal use of all donor organs and a sustainable national organ transplant programme.

Potential organ donor

The UAE Brain Death Protocol establishes a patient is brain dead if the individual meets the following criteria for being a potential organ donor:

• A person of any age

• Has experienced a severe neurological insult (post-resuscitation, cerebral anoxia, CVA, cerebral haemorrhage, encephalopathy, traumatic brain injury, Glasgow score less than 5)

• Requires mechanical ventilation

Such a person is declared brain dead and a potential organ donor as per the UAE Federal Law no: 5 of 2016.