Current practices for screening, consent and care of related donors in France: Haematopoietic stem cell transplantation coordinator nurses’ perceptions

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Abstract

Haematopoietic stem cell transplantation-coordinating nurses (HSCT-CNs) play an important role in informing related donors (RDs) and in organising human leucocyte antigen (HLA) tests, pre-donation workup and stem cells collection. Our pilot study aimed to explore French HSCT-CNs’ perceptions of RD care issues. Twenty-nine French HSCT adult units were sent a questionnaire on the subject of donation procedures, HSCT-CNs’ data and their professional experience of related donation issues. Twenty-two HSCT-CNs returned a completed questionnaire, and 90% of HSCT units were involved to some degree in both patient and donor care. Responses indicated that the provision of information to potential donors prior to HLA tests was insufficient, while donors were given a medical consultation only during the pre-donation workup. Questions were raised about the consent and voluntary status of RDs. None of the HSCT teams organised a post-donation consultation, while 57% provided follow-up by phone or via a questionnaire. Our results draw attention to the conflict of interest experienced by HSCT-CNs when caring simultaneously for patients and donors. The specific psychosocial difficulties associated with becoming an RD are also highlighted. French HSCT-CNs’ perceptions of related donation reveal many ethical and clinical problems that have yet to be fully explored. Data on this topic remain scarce, and our pilot study may contribute to the current debate on the organisation of RD care.

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