Session Time: 3:15pm-4:00pm
Presentation Time: 3:30pm-4:00pm
*Purpose: There are nearly 20 million living US armed forces veterans; however, the veteran community has not been the focus of any studies on organ and tissue donation.
*Methods: Over a 17-month period, 1,517 veterans in New England completed surveys to assess attitudes toward organ and tissue donation, willingness to donate one’s own organs and tissues as well as those of a deceased loved one, perceptions about VCA transplantation and donation, opinions about the authorization of VCA organs for transplantation, media exposure to VCA transplantation, and healthcare system distrust.
*Results: Most veterans (96%) supported the donation of organs and tissue for transplantation, and 59% were registered as an organ and tissue donor. Being female (aOR: 1.46, P=0.02), younger (aOR: 0.97, P<0.001), Hispanic (aOR: 2.43, P=0.007), non-Hispanic white (aOR: 2.07, P=0.002), and having more trust that the transplant process is fair and equal (aOR: 1.40, P<0.001) were predictive of donor registration. Also, most veterans were willing to donate their face (57%), hands/arms (81%), legs (81%), penis (men: 61%), and uterus (women: 76%) at time of death; donation willingness was higher for upper and lower limbs than for face or genitourinary organs (P<0.001).[Figure 1] Those unwilling to donate VCA organs expressed concerns about identity loss, psychological discomfort of self and others, body integrity, funeral presentation, and religious beliefs. Most (54%) felt that VCA donation should require permission of legal next-of-kin at the time of one’s death, even if the decedent was a registered donor.
*Conclusions: There is a high level of support for organ, tissue, and VCA transplantation and donation among veterans, despite limited educational campaigns targeting this population. There is high potential among veterans to further increase donor registry enrollment and raise awareness about VCA benefits for severely injured service members.
To cite this abstract in AMA style:Rodrigue JR, Ward S, Boger M, Fleishman A, Shenkel J, Calvo A, Zwolak R, Krishnan N, Pomahac B. Attitudes Toward Organ, Tissue, and Vascularized Composite Allograft Donation and Transplantation: A Survey of United States Military Veterans [abstract]. Am J Transplant. 2020; 20 (suppl 3). https://atcmeetingabstracts.com/abstract/attitudes-toward-organ-tissue-and-vascularized-composite-allograft-donation-and-transplantation-a-survey-of-united-states-military-veterans/. Accessed March 8, 2021.
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