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EU countries see increase in organ donors, transplants

On December 18, 2018 the commission released an impact assessment report on the outcomes of its EU Action Plan on Organ Donation and Transplantation 2008-2015.  

Increase in kidney donations and transplantations thanks to EU Action Plan 2008-2015

EU countries saw a 20 % increase in organ donors and organ transplants between 2008 and 2015,  a European Commission report.

These achievements are partly due to an EU action plan on organ donation and transplantation that ran between 2009 and 2015, with EU countries willing to see a renewed plan, the report said.

The total number of organ donors at EU level increased from 12,300 to 14,900 between 2008 and 2015. The number of transplants increased by 4,641 to over 33,000 in the same period.

The number of transplants increased for all types of organs over the period. Kidney and liver transplants each increased by 16 %. Lung transplants rose by 41 %, while Heart transplants went up by 10 % and pancreas transplants by 7 %.

However, the overall positive trend masks differences among EU countries, the report showed.

Spain, France, the U.K, Poland and the Netherlands were the countries with the highest increase in overall numbers. Bulgaria, Lithuania, Finland, Croatia, Hungary saw the sharpest rise in the percentage of transplants.

Countries hit by the economic crisis, such as Cyprus, Greece, Ireland, Portugal and Estonia, saw poorer transplant rates than other EU countries.

Germany also saw a 20 % decrease in transplant numbers. “One reason lies probably in the 2011 scandal on manipulation of waiting lists, which had an impact on willingness to donate, but also other organizational issues are to be looked at,” the report said.

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