• Knowledge and practice of organ donation among police personnel in Tamil Nadu: a cross-sectional study

      Thyagarajan, Ishwarya; Shroff, Sunil; Vincent, Britzer Paul; Rajendran, Juhija; Kanvinde, Hemal; Shankar, Siva; Aneesh, Kavitha; MOHAN Foundation; Madras Medical Mission Hospital; University of Bedfordshire (Wolters Kluwer Medknow Publications, 2020-07-06)
      Context: Police officers are one of the key stakeholders involved in the process of deceased organ donation. In India, as road traffic accidents account for the majority of brain deaths, the police play an important role to ensure legal and ethical practices of organ donation. In many instances, the undue delays in the inquest and postmortem lead to difficulties in completing the donation and also cause distress among the family members who have said yes to organ donation despite their grief. Aim: This study aims to assess the police officers' knowledge of the organ donation process and their practice toward it. Design and Subjects and Methods: This cross-sectional survey was conducted among 627 police officers in the state of Tamil Nadu in India within a period of 18 months. A structured questionnaire with multiple choice questions was used. Microsoft Excel and SPSS version 21 were used to compile and statistically analyze the data collected. The knowledge level and willingness of the officers to follow certain practices were analyzed. Results: It was found that 95.5% of the participants were aware of organ donation. Further analysis revealed that 86.6% of the police personnel were aware of brain death, but only 35.6% were aware of the transplant law, 12.1% knew about the green corridor, and 20.7% about the donor card. Very few participants (9.6%) had experience in processing brain deaths and organ donation cases. Knowledge about postmortem formalities and inquest protocols was unsatisfactory. A significant association between work experience and the knowledge and awareness about organ donation was noted. Conclusions: Including modules on organ donation awareness, transplant law, and hospital protocols in the training syllabus for the recruited personnel, followed by regular refresher courses on the subject, would be the key to enhance the knowledge and work practices of this important group to help ease pain points in the medicolegal cases where organ donation consent is provided by the relatives. A change in the attitude of police officers while handling organ donation cases would have an overall positive impact on the program.