Researchers have found that potential organ donors frequently did not receive appropriate low tidal volumes (Vt) in the transplant evaluation period, according to a study presented at Chest 2018.

More than half (65%) of all patients received excessive Vt during the 48 hours prior to death. In addition, 40% of the time patients received excessively high volumes. Women were more likely to receive excessively high tidal volumes than men (76% of women vs 57% of men). Women also spent more time receiving excessive Vt (46% of the time vs 32% of the time for men) and were more likely to receive TVs greater than 10mL/kg.

The association between female sex and excessive Vt remained significant after multiple regression analysis adjusting for height, BMI, trauma death and donation outcomes. Other independent predictors of excessive TVs were morbid obesity, shorter height and trauma as a cause of death.

“While this is a single-center retrospective review, it suggests the possibility of an important disparity,” states lead researcher Dr. Joaquin A. Chapa. “Multicenter studies are needed to determine the impact of excessive tidal volumes on organ suitability and outcomes.”