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Organ donation: Numbers are falling again in Germany


Experts call for better framework conditions in the clinics
Around ten thousand people are waiting for a donor organ in this country. But the number of organs donated cannot meet the need by far. Rather, the number fell by around three percent in the current year 2016, reports the German Foundation Organ Transplantation (DSO) in a current announcement. According to the foundation, the reason for the decline is not, however, a generally negative attitude towards organ donation. Instead, uncertainties caused by a lack of information and limited framework conditions in the clinics are often the cause.

Three percent fewer donor organs than last year
The number of organ donors and donated organs fell again this year. As reported by the German Organ Transplantation Foundation (DSO), the total amount of organs donated decreased by 3.0 percent in January to October compared to 2015 to 2,383 (2015: 2,457). In total, the number of organs donated in Germany in 2015 totaled 2,900 organs.

Number of donors remains at a low level
The nationwide number of donors had dropped from 2010 to 2013 by a third from 1,296 to a low of 876 people. Since then, the number of donors - with slight upward and downward trends - has remained at this low level. In the first ten months of this year there were 717 organ donations. Similar values ​​had been achieved in the same period in the previous two years (2014: 713, 2015: 736 organ donations). A total of 877 Germans donated their organs in 2015.

Germany is far behind in an EU comparison
Accordingly, there are only 10.8 donors per million inhabitants in this country. Germany is lagging significantly behind in international comparison. According to the DSO, the EU average is 19.5. Leader Spain even achieved a value of 39.7. Donors were registered there in the past year - although only half as many people live in the country as in the FRG.

Willingness to donate is generally high
However, the reasons for the decline are not to be found in a general rejection of organ donation, the DSO said. Surveys by the Federal Center for Health Education (BzgA) have shown that about 80 percent of citizens are positive about the donation. However, a lack of information often leads to uncertainties in decision-making.

Framework conditions sometimes insufficient
In addition, the structures and capacities in the 1,300 potential withdrawal clinics are sometimes insufficient to be able to fulfill all responsible tasks. “Organ donation is a joint task and relies on the commitment and commitment of doctors and nurses in the donor hospitals. However, it can only develop successfully with the support of politics and in consensus with the population, ”said the DSO Medical Board of Directors, Dr. Axel Rahmel.

There is hope that “the amendment to the 2012/2013 transplant law will result in extensive structural changes and reforms to improve organ donation and transplantation, which will affect processes and cooperation in particular,” continues Rahmel. This would include the nationwide use of transplant officers in the clinics and revised guidelines.

Task should be mastered together
Rahmel appeals to the more than 1,300 withdrawal hospitals to use the extensive support services of the DSO as a coordination point and to jointly take on the task of organ donation for society as a whole. "It is a sign of quality for every intensive care unit when organ donations are carried out there and a sign of medical care and solidarity when doctors are also committed to those patients who are waiting for a life-saving donor organ in another hospital, at a different location," says the expert. (No)

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