Archive for October, 2018

Spinning Marathon to support patients waiting for a transplant

On the occasion of the European Organ Donation Day, the city of Luxembourg organized a “spinning Marathon” to express support to patients waiting for a transplant. Transplanted patients could also take part in the event to illustrate their “coming back to life” after receiving a transplant. The event aims to raise awareness on organ donation and to encourage people to make their position on organ donation, known to their families.

In Luxembourg, as in more and more EU Member States, the law has established an “opt-out” system. However, in practice, medical teams still seek families’ consent -which they may refuse to give. In an effort to make things easier for all involved in these situations – often emotionally difficult (while under shock, next-of-kin  must make a rapid decision); health authorities have produced a “life passport” for owners to clearly state their willingness to donate their organs in case of death.

There is still a long way to go in Luxembourg where organ donations numbers are the lowest from the EU group of countries affiliated to Eurotransplant (, the organisation that facilitates patient-oriented allocation and cross-border exchange of deceased donor organs (Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia).

In 2017, Luxembourg counted only 9 organ donors and 7 in 2018 to date.

European Organ Donation Day: EU Commission Welcomes Rising Transplants Numbers in the EU

Ahead of the European Day of Organ Donation and Transplantation marked on 13 October, Vytenis Andriukaitis, European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, said: ”I am pleased to see the number of transplants and organ donations in the EU steadily growing from year to year. Life is precious and it’s a gift we can share even after we are no longer alive. In fact, it is the greatest gift we can give to another human being and a legacy that will keep us alive in that person. I therefore encourage everyone to become organ donors and potentially help to save lives.”

According to the 2017 Annual Transplant Report (published by the Council of Europe and the Spanish Transplant Agency (Organizacion Nacional de Trasplantes – ONT), in 2017 there were 700 more transplants performed in the EU compared to 2016. While deceased donation after brain death remains the most common source of organs, living donation and deceased donation after cardiac death are growing in importance. 

However, there are still major differences between EU Member States in the number of transplants and donations, something that the European Commission is tackling through a number of initiatives including especially the EU Action Plan (2009-2015) on organ donation and transplantation aimed to foster best-practices exchange amongst Member States. Further activities include the Eudonorgan, a training and awareness-building programme for professionals and civil societies or the Edith project which brings together national authorities to assess the cost-benefit of kidney transplants and develop common registries on outcome for kidney donors and recipients.

See previous articles on the role of the European Commission in the field of Organ Donation and Transplantation

More information on the European Commission’s activities here.

Greener Nephrology

The Healthcare sector is more and more looking into reducing its negative impact on the environment.

The need to produce a cultural shift to include sustainability as an integral part of quality of healthcare provision is something that the UK has been actively tackling under the Green Nephrology Programme, a national initiative bringing together the Center for Sustainable Healthcare, the Renal Association, the British Renal Society, the NHS Sustainable Development Unit and industry partners. Since 2009, stakeholders are working as part of this “Green Nephrology” on a model of clinical transformation to inspire all clinical specialties and have produced a number of outputs including a comparative carbon footprint of haemodialysis provided at home vs. in-centre, as well as a carbon footprint of a local renal service and case studies of local green initiatives.

For more information, click here.