Key messages

  • Kidney transplantation is the treatment of choice for end-stage kidney disease in suitable patients.

 

  • Transplantation provides better clinical outcomes than dialysis and substantially reduces the healthcare costs of CKD by avoiding or delaying dialysis and allowing patients to resume life activities, including education and work

 

  • The EU should adopt a coordinated approach to mitigate existing disparities amongst Member States and ensure a consistent approach throughout national systems.

 

  • Successful donation systems rely on:

    • Appropriate training and availability of specialised staff (e.g. transplant coordinators)

    • Cooperation amongst intensive care, emergencies and other units in hospitals in the case of deceased donors

    • For donation from deceased people: implementation of systems relying on citizens obligation to make their position for or against donation of their organs to public authorities

    • Adequate financial health protection mechanisms for donors and recipients

    • Public awareness and communication around organ donation (both living and deceased).

 

  • Access to kidney transplantation should be equally guaranteed to all valid candidates

 

  • Kidney transplantation should be promoted and encouraged by all means including EU wide strategies to:

    • Educate the general public, patients and healthcare professionals about the benefits of transplantation and the need to increase organ donation

    • Provide financial incentives encouraging Member States or regions to increase and improve their transplantation programmes.

 

  • Living donor transplantation should be promoted by:

    • Pre-emptive donor exchange programmes

    • Compensation of costs for living donors such as medical care or absence from work

    • Creating an optimal legal and structural framework for living donation.

 

  • Deceased donor transplantation should be promoted by improving awareness of this need and augmenting organ retrieval policies:

    • Implementation of ‘opting out’ schemes for deceased kidney donation

    • Acceptance of expanded deceased donation (e.g. ‘non-heart beating’ donation).

 

  • Member States lagging behind on either living or deceased donation and transplantation programmes should be supported to make all necessary efforts to stimulate these options.