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European Day for Organ Donation and Transplantation, 9 September 2017

Public awareness
09 September 2017
Bern (Switzerland)

What can you do?

Let’s talk about donation! Become a donor!

European Day for Organ Donation and Transplantation (EODD)Every year, European countries celebrate European Day for Organ Donation and Transplantation (EODD). The idea behind this Day, initiated by the Council of Europe, is to encourage debate and provide information on organ, tissues and cells donation and transplantation, and legal and medical measures so that every European can decide about donation and make their wishes known to their family.

Organ, tissues and cells transplantation is one of the great medical success stories of modern times and is the only life-saving treatment for end-stage organ failure in many conditions.

By the end of 2015, more than 143 000 patients were waiting for a kidney, liver, heart, lung, pancreas or intestinal transplant in the Council of Europe’s member states (CoE), as shown in the EDQM’s “Newsletter Transplant 2016”. Each day, on average, 18 people died while waiting for a transplant.

In fact, these figures probably do not represent the true scale of patients’ needs. The epidemics of diabetes and arterial hypertension and the general ageing trend of the population in Europe have resulted in increased needs and many more patients are waiting for an organ than those presently benefitting from this kind of therapy.

Large public awareness campaigns focused on organ, tissues and cells donations have shown a significant impact over the past years. Recently, rates of donations per million inhabitants have been improved in several countries (such as Belgium and Croatia).

However, with 39 000 transplantations carried out but 47 000 new patients added to waiting lists in 2015, donation of organs, tissues and cells still needs to be given the greatest possible encouragement.

There is plenty of scope for improving the identification of potential donors: it requires well-organised infrastructures and clear information to the families of potential donors, especially taking into consideration that there is no age limit to become a donor.

At the same time, families’ refusals to authorise organ donation contribute to the organ deficit. This situation can be addressed not only by making an individual decision to become a donor, but also by encouraging discussion of the subject within families.


EODD 2017: Bring back hope to patients on waiting lists all over Europe!

This year’s campaign focuses on organ, tissues and cells donation, as well as the important role that families can play in donation.


Every single person can play a role in helping others:

1 donor of organs can save 8 patients

1 donor of tissue and cells can save or improve the lives of 100 patients


Those who are interested in becoming donors should look for information on registering as a donor in their countries (depending on the local legal framework) and inform their family about their decision.


The objectives of the 2017 EODD

European Day for Organ Donation and Transplantation (EODD) is about helping member states to create awareness of donation among the general public and healthcare professionals, and to promote donation and transplantation.

EODD is also an opportunity to honour all organ donors and their families and to thank transplantation professionals throughout Europe whose hard work helps save lives and improves the quality of life of many people.

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