Organ donation and transplant in the EU

Across Europe, 16 patients die every day waiting for the organs they need. However, there were over 800 more organ transplants in the EU in 2015, compared to 2014. This confirms an encouraging trend, with over 4000 additional transplants over 5 years, a 14% increase compared with 2010.

The ‘EU Action Plan on Organ Donation and Transplantation‘ has promoted training, cross-border exchange and sharing of best practices between Member States. Through the Public Health Programme, the Commission has co-funded several European projects to give practical support to Member States to help them improve their donation programmes.

In addition, a recently developed IT tool has been used to offer organs not allocated in their home country, enabling 23 transplants to take place during the pilot phase, mainly in children; that otherwise would not have been possible.

Read more about Organ Donation and Transplant from the ec.europa.eu website

Improving organ donation across Europe

The World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Council of Europe, along with 8 other partners are supporting the ‘ACCORD’ project which has involved 23 European countries. “Achieving Comprehensive Coordination in Organ Donation throughout the European Union” is a Joint Action coordinated by the Spanish National Transplant Organisation and aims to narrow the inequalities in organ donation by:

  1. Enhancing the protection of living donors by improving information systems and through common standards.
  2. Promoting deceased organ donation by facilitating the cooperation between critical care       professionals and donor transplant coordinators.
  3. Sharing practical knowledge, expertise and tools by implementing practical collaborations among countries – through a “twinnings” initiative.

For more information about ACCORD, click here on www.accord-ja.eu

New EU rules on human tissues and cells increase patient safety

The Commission has adopted two sets of rules for human tissues and cells to protect patients in the EU by ensuring high quality and safety standards.

The first set of rules set out the technical requirements that will facilitate tracing of all tissues and cells between donor and recipient. This will happen through a so-called ‘Single European Code’ and a Commission-hosted IT-platform to ensure uniform labelling of all tissues and cells distributed in the EU. In the case of a safety alert, this label will ensure that all recipients who received material from the same donor can be traced and treated as needed. It will also allow for unused tissues or cells to be discarded.

The second directive covers imports and sets out procedures for ensuring that tissues and cells imported from third countries meet the same safety and quality standards as those procured, processed and distributed in the EU. These rules will ensure the safety of EU recipients in need of tissues and cells, regardless of the origin of the material.

For more information, click here on http://ec.europa.eu