Adam Durczyński, Aleksandra Dąbrowska, Janusz Strzelczyk
Med Sci Tech 2011; 52(1-2): RA53-55
Background: As future citizens, youths will take part in making decisions on organ procurement; thus, the aim of our study was to evaluate present attitudes toward transplantation among a population of small town secondary school students.
Material/Methods: Anonymous surveys were conducted in the population of all pupils of 1st Secondary School in Kutno (Poland) and they were asked to answer 9 questions concerning deceased organ donation.
Results: One hundred and seventy pupils were surveyed; the majority of them (94%) were fairly positive about transplantation issues and donating their own organs, although fewer than half also agree to donate an organ from a deceased close family member, whereas 52% wanted to be asked for final permission before family members’ organs procurement. Moreover, only a minority of surveyed pupils (28%) had heard about the Central Register of Refusals, and none of them had signed an organ donation card. More than 80% of pupils understand that an individual may be recognized as dead even though the heart is still beating; nevertheless, only 15% agreed with organ procurement from such donors.
Conclusions: Our research in a population of small town youths indicated considerable discrepancies between general and specific attitudes toward transplantation issues, possibly as a result of significant gaps in knowledge regarding the organ procurement system and low engagement in family discussions about deceased organ donation. Further increase in number of organs available to transplantation may be achieved if transplantation issues are discussed more widely.
Keywords: Organ Transplantation, Organ Procurement, small town youths survey