Objective To find out whether doctors who work with children have a basic knowledge of tissue and organ donation which would allow them to initiate discussions with families.
Methods Anonymous self-completed questionnaire containing basic information about donation administered to 56 doctors working in paediatrics, emergency medicine and intensive care in one district general hospital.
Results 89% doctors were aware that children could donate solid organs after death although 39.3% thought incorrectly that premature babies were eligible. Respondents were generally less knowledgeable about age limits for tissue (heart valve and eye), blood and bone marrow donation. The overall average score on the questionnaire was only 49.9%, this score did not vary with grade or paediatric training.
Conclusion Participants had poor knowledge about tissue and organ donation, which would make approaching families difficult. This study has identified an important training need for all doctors involved in the care of dying children.
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Competing interest None.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
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