J Korean Med Assoc.  2014 Feb;57(2):137-142.

Management of brain-dead donors in Korea

  • 1Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, Seoul St. Mary's Hospital, The Catholic University of Korea College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. jiyo1004@catholic.ac.kr


Brain death is the irreversible end of all brain activity including involuntary activity necessary to sustain life. Since the first organ transplantation from a brain-dead donor in 1979, organ transplantation has been developing continuously in Korea. The Organ Transplantation Act was enacted in February 2000, making brain-dead organ donation legal in Korea, and the Korean Network for Organ Sharing (KONOS) was simultaneously launched, permitting the organized procurement and distribution of organs. Once brain death is declared, aggressive fluid management, use of vasopressors, and mechanical ventilation should be maintained between brain death and organ donation to keep all other vital organs completely functional, providing optimal opportunities for organ donation.


Brain death; Organ donation; Transplantation

MeSH Terms

Brain Death
Organ Transplantation
Respiration, Artificial
Tissue and Organ Procurement
Tissue Donors*


  • Figure 1 System of brain-death organ donation in Korea. KONOS, Korean organ network for organ sharing KODA, Korea organ donation agency. Modified from Korean Network for Organ Sharing. Work guide 2013. Seoul: Korean Network for Organ Sharing 2013 [15].


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