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Revista Colombiana de Cirugía

Print version ISSN 2011-7582


ARISTIZABAL, Ana M. et al. Fire arm wounded cerebral death organ donors: a tragic reality that benefits organ receptors in Colombia. rev. colomb. cir. [online]. 2018, vol.33, n.2, pp.189-197. ISSN 2011-7582.

Background and objectives:

Patients with brain death (BD) due to traumatic brain injury (TBI) secondary to a gunshot (GS) wound in the skull contribute to mitigate the demand for organ and tissue donors. In Colombia, 78% of the homicides are by GS. We describe our experience with BD secondary to TBI by GS organ and tissue donors at a transplant center in Cali, Colombia.

Materials and methods:

This is a retrospective historical cohort study for characterization of donors diagnosed with BD secondary to TBI by GS at our institution in the period 2010-2016 (n=169). Qualitative variables were assessed by proportions, continuous quantitative variables with measures of central tendency, and survival with Kaplan Meier.


The majority of the patients were male (93%), with a median age of 21 years (RIQ 17-27), 32% had history of psychoactive substance use. 12% of the patient’s required management with blood products and 62% with high doses of vasopressors. 338 solid organs were transplanted. Survival of the renal and hepatic graft at one year was 90% and 85% respectively and at five years of 87% and 76%.


According to our study, the majority of these patients are young men with potentially transplantable organs, showing excellent results in the survival of the grafts. We consider these donors to be a good alternative to increase the number of organ and tissue donors.

Keywords : organ transplantation; donor selection; brain death; cerebrovascular trauma; brain injuries, traumatic; head injuries; penetrating.

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