Betreuung der Angehörigen von Organspendern an der Intensivstation

Translated title of the contribution: Providing support to relatives of organ donors in the intensive care unit

Research output: Journal article (peer-reviewed)Review article

1 Citation (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: Providing support and talking to the relatives of organ donors is one of the most difficult tasks in an intensive care unit. The quality of this task, especially the quality of the conversation, can be significantly improved by exact and timely preparation as well as by the creation of the respective framework conditions and training in the area of communication.

REQUIREMENTS AND METHODS: The exact preparation includes knowledge about the patient and their relatives, their cultural and religious background, medical data, and the findings of examinations. An important aspect is the knowledge and the consideration of ethical differences in different cultures as well as overcoming language barriers with the help of an interpreter. Team meetings with the treating intensive care physician, the nursing staff, and the transplant coordinator ensure that all questions on the topic brain death and organ donation can be answered satisfactorily. At the beginning of the conversation, the uncomfortable news should be delivered. Only after the relatives have accepted the news about the death which can be recognized by their verbal and non-verbal statements should the doctor turn the conversation to organ donation.

CONCLUSION: In the conversation, openness, empathy, authenticity, emotional support as well as friendly/attentive conversation technique are important. Communication skills can be improved through seminars and regular training.

Translated title of the contributionProviding support to relatives of organ donors in the intensive care unit
Original languageGerman
Pages (from-to)418-421
Number of pages4
JournalMedizinische Klinik - Intensivmedizin und Notfallmedizin
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 01 Sept 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
  • Emergency Nursing
  • Internal Medicine
  • Emergency Medicine


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