Archive for September, 2018

Eurotransplant to Award a young researcher with the ‘Eurotrans-plant Jon van Rood Award

For the first time, Eurotransplant, the international collaborative platform gathering all transplant hospitals, tissue-typing laboratories and hospitals where organ donations take place in Europe, will award a young researcher with the ‘Eurotransplant Jon van Rood Award’.

The winner, to be selected from the twelve scientific publications submitted and reviewed by an international jury, will be announced and awarded during the Presidential symposium of Eurotransplant’s Annual Meeting on ( on October 4 and 5 in Leiden, the Netherlands.

Eurotransplant Annual Meeting will offer presentations and workshops dedicated to the latest developments in the area of organ procurement, organ allocation, organ transplantation, aftercare and ethical issues. The programme features, amongst other things, a presentation of the latest figures and trends regarding the waiting list, organ donation and transplantation in the Eurotransplant member countries and thematic workshops on organ-related topics.

The Eurotransplant Annual Meeting is open to all professionals involved in clinical care and research related to organ donation and transplantation. Besides physicians, surgeons and transplant researchers, all different related health professionals involved in transplantation and donation such as clinical and donation coordinators are welcome.

The meeting is also of interest to medical ethicists and patient representatives as well as families and relatives of organ donors and transplanted patients.

About Eurotransplant:

As mediator between donor and recipient, Eurotransplant plays a key role in the allocation and distribution of donor organs for transplantation. The mission statement and goals of Eurotransplant express the foundation’s main target: to ensure an optimal use of available donor organs. The allocation system is based upon medical and ethical criteria. Through conducting and facilitating scientific research, Eurotransplant aims at a constant improvement of transplant outcomes.


Celebrating the European Organ Donation Day (EODD)

Scheduled on 13 October, the event will take place in Chisinau, Republic of Moldova, the hosting country for the EODD this year.

In view of the EODD, the Council of Europe, owner of the initiative, encourages Member States and their citizens to communicate about the need to boost organ donation and transplantation in Europe. This year’s campaign slogan “Be ready to save lives, become a superhero! Say yes to organ, tissue and cell donation!” will be spread across through designed online and offline materials (videos, posters, etc.

EKHA fully supports this initiative and encourages its Members and the wider kidney community to undertake celebrations on this date using the tools and recommendations provided under the EKHA Gift of Life Campaign ( Indeed, the EODD forms a fantastic occasion to to boost organ donation and transplantation at local and national level, the very aim of EKHA’s Gift Of Life campaign!

Calling on Europeans to talk about organ, tissue and cell donation with family, friends and colleague, the European Directorate for the Quality of Medecines and Healthcare of the Council of Europe ( further urges Europeans citizens to to inform themselves on how to become a donor in their own country.


As part of its call for action,, the EDQM reminds that:

  • With nearly 6 new patients added to waiting lists every hour in Europe, the number of Europeans waiting for an organ keeps growing.
  • Most organ donors in Europe are persons who die in hospitals: once death is certified, doctors will consult the next of kin in relation to organ donation. Consent to organ donation cannot always be presumed, at times even in the case of those who have joined a donors’ register, this is why doctors will always consult the family to ascertain consent.
  • When it comes to organ donation, age truly doesn’t matter. When a potential donor dies, his or her organs and/ or tissues are evaluated to determine their suitability for donation. People in their 80s and 90s have successfully donated organs, such as their liver and kidneys, to save the lives of others.
  • One single donor can save 8 lives through organ donation and save/improve up to 100 lives through tissue donation.

More information on EODD:


EODD on social media

View the EODD leaflet here:

German Health Minister Calls for Opt-out Organ Donation

The European Kidney Health Alliance (EKHA) supports the statement of German Health Minister Jens Spahn, who Monday said he thinks Germany should adopt an opt-out scheme to increase the number of organs available for transplantation. “I am in favor of a double opt-out solution,” Spahn told Bild newspaper. “That’s the only way to make organ donation the norm.”

He argued that all previous attempts at a political level to increase the declining number of organ donors had “unfortunately been without success.”

According to figures from the German Organ Transplantation Foundation, the number of organ donors in Germany reached its lowest-ever level of 797 last year. At the end of August, more than 10,000 people in Germany were waiting for a donor organ.

EKHA chairman Prof Raymond Vanholder said the Alliance would be pleased to see Germany would make this move as it would greatly boost the country’s transplant activity, the current low level of which is a matter of concern for all health stakeholders who are working for more sustainable health care, including EKHA. However, there is also a need for other action to put the change into practice, such as education of the general public, patients and the medical community of their role in organ donation and transplantation.

Spain, which has an opt-out system, is the EU country with the highest per capita rate of donors, with 43.4 donors per million inhabitants in 2016. Germany has one of the lowest rates, at 10.4 donors per million inhabitants in 2016.

Post mortem organ donors 2016

EKHA has recently launched the  “Gift of Life” campaign – an advocacy initiative to raise awareness on the need for:

– a coordinated approach at EU level as regards kidney donation

– appropriate legal, structural and cultural frameworks in EU member states to boost donation rates and hence reduce the numbers of deaths resulting from kidney failure while waiting for a transplant.

For more information, please see

Italy and Spain Achieve First International Cross-Kidney Transplantation

Italy and Spain recently successfully transplanted two patients, the first in Pisa and the second in Barcelona by undertaking an international cross-kidney transplantation chain (the so-called “cross over” program), involving two non-compatible donor-recipient pairs from Barcelona and Pisa.

This success was made possible thanks to the South Alliance for Transplant (SAT), an international agreement involving Spain, France, Italy and Portugal aiming to increase welfare responses to patients waiting to receive a transplant by expanding the pool of potential donors to those patients who can not receive the organ from their donor, due to the presence of specific antibodies which determine its incompatibility.

In practice, in a case of incompatible donor-receiving couples, the search for compatible donors will, under the “international crossover protocol”, spread across the border, thereby giving the possibility to an incompatible donor-receiving couple to receive and donate a kidney crossing their immunological compatibility with those of another donor-receiving couple in the same condition, from a neighbor country.

In this particular case, the first research to identify the international cross-over chain involved 113 incompatible donor-recipient pairs (79 Spanish couples, 19 Portuguese and 15 Italian) and 14 hospitals (10 Spanish, 1 Portuguese and 3 Italian- Pisa, Siena and Bologna ).

The start of the close collaboration between the experts of the CNT (National Transplant Center) and the ON (Organización Nacional Trasplantes) for the setting up of the chain dates back to 23 May and required an intense commitment to the coordination of all phases of immunological evaluation and organizational coordination. The picking and transplanting operations were carried out in Italy at the University Hospital of Pisa and in Barcelona with through the renal transplantation surgical team of the Puigvert Foundation of the Autonomous University of Barcelona.

The realization of this project represents, according to the Director of the National Transplant Center dott. Alessandro Nanni Costa “an essential and innovative tool to enlarge the pool of potential donors, as well as an important opportunity for growth for both systems, considered unanimously among the most advanced organizations in Europe and in the world”.

Since 2015, a national cross-over program has been active in Italy, involving 21 couples and allowed to perform 21 transplants (of which 17 couples have returned to cross-over chains from a Samaritan donor). To date, 36 couples are active in the national crossover program .

In March 2018, the first crossover chain triggered by a deceased donor was undertaken  by the University of Padua. A second chain of this type took place in July. Using deceased donors to start the chain will increase the pool of potential compatible donors and boost the number of chains involving incompatible couples and patients.

Check out the schedule and steps that led to this unique achievement here.