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Health & Consumer Voice - December - 2012 Edition

New rules help cross-border organ donation

New rules to help EU countries exchange valuable information about organs and their donors were adopted by the European Commission on 9 October. They include common guidelines for exchanging information on types of organ and the donor, such as age, gender and health history, as well as traceability information and reporting of serious adverse events and reactions.

In future, it will be mandatory for national authorities to record and share information on cross-border organ exchanges, and to provide a 24/7 service for urgent situations. This will allow medical teams to take prompt and appropriate action to ensure patient safety.

EU countries have to bring the new rules into effect by 10 April 2014. They will apply to the cross-border exchange of all human organs intended for transplant in the EU.

30 300 organ transplants took place in the EU in 2011. There are currently 61 500 people on various national waiting lists for organ transplant in the EU and most EU countries report regular organ shortages.

EU organ donation in 2011

61 500 patients placed on national waiting lists, of which:

  • 42 000 waiting for a kidney
  • 10 000 waiting for a liver
  • 4 000 waiting for a heart
  • 2 300 waiting for a lung
  • 5 500 died before an organ became available

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