Q: What is QUOD?
A: The acronym QUOD stands for QUality in Organ Donation. Funded by NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT), this national consortium of experts from the fields of organ donation and transplantation, which is led by the University of Oxford, has been established to streamline research focusing on improving organ quality in donation and transplantation. We are creating a national bioresource for biological samples (blood, urine and tissues) collected from organ donors at several key time points during the donation process. The combined knowledge of donor demographic and outcome data from the subsequent transplant of the organ(s) (from NHSBT data) will provide researchers with valuable insight into how organs are affected long term by unnatural disturbance of a number of complex pathways after brain death and intracranial events leading to donation following circulatory arrest. QUOD is a national consortium focusing on donor organ quality, bringing together clinical and scientific experts from ICUs and transplant centres in the United Kingdom, all of which participate in the National Organ Retrieval System (NORS).
Q: Which organ donors are being targeted?
A: Brain death (DBD) and circulatory death/non-heart beating (DCD) organ donors, including paediatric donors over five years old.
Q: What biological samples are being collected?
A: Blood, urine and tissue samples for now at different time points during the donor management period and retrieval operation. The type of samples included in the QUOD collection may be revisited in the future according to research needs and taking into account the QUOD ethics approval.
Q: What are the consequences of taking biopsies?
A: Biopsies are routinely taken in clinical settings. QUOD protocols are strict regarding the conduct of the biopsy procedure to ensure any potential complications due to taking biopsies are prevented. Biopsies are obtained on the backtable after cold perfusion. To ensure appropriate haemostasis and prevent bleeding after reperfusion at time of transplantation the retrieval surgeon will place a prolene suture at the biopsy site before packaging the organ for transportation.
Q: Will samples be accessible to the wider transplant community?
A: Yes, researchers from any institution can apply for QUOD samples, the proposals are judged on scientific merit.