The demand for organ transplantation is increasing all over the world, leaving us with an urgent question: how can we ensure that everyone in need receives a lifeline? Unfortunately, the answer lies in the sobering reality of our present – there simply are not enough organs available to meet the need. This shortage of organs is now the limiting factor in treating many patients with chronic organ failure and has led to high numbers of patients on waiting lists.
On average in 2022, 39 000 patients received a transplant and 48 000 new patients were registered on waiting lists in the member states of the Council of Europe. That’s nearly five new patients added to a transplant waiting list every hour.
Now, close your eyes and imagine the profound impact we can make together. Picture a future where those waiting cease to wait; where hope is restored and lives are transformed through the valuable present of organ, tissue and cell donation. The power of change lies within each and every one of us. Because our present can be the future of someone in need.
Thousands of patients on waiting lists. A chronic shortage of organs, tissues and cells. The result: in 2022, an average of 19 patients died every day while waiting for an organ transplant in Europe.
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Why a European Donation Day (EDD)?
Sponsored by the European Directorate for the Quality of Medicines & HealthCare (EDQM) of the Council of Europe and hosted by a different country every year since 1996, the European Donation Day (EDD) aims to raise public awareness of the need for organ, tissue and cell donation and promote the principle of voluntary and non-remunerated donation.
In 2023, the European Donation Day is celebrated on 7 October.
Organ, tissue and cell transplantation is one of the great medical success stories of modern times, oﬀering major therapeutic beneﬁts and improvements to quality of life. It is also, in many cases, the only treatment capable of restoring essential functions, such as sight, or of saving patients suffering from end-stage organ failure. Demand for transplantable organs, tissues and cells still far exceeds supply, however, with important consequences for health. The key figures from Newsletter Transplant, the annual worldwide survey on transplantation, make clear just how dire the situation is for thousands of patients who suffer in silence.
Spain is the host country of this year’s EDD, but all countries are invited to mark the occasion.
More information on the activities around Europe can be found on https://www.edqm.eu/en/edd-organ-donation-institutions.
EDD 2023 in Spain
To mark this year’s European Donation Day, Spain will host several events in Santander:
- 8 November: meeting of the European Committee on Organ Transplantation (CD-P-TO)
The CD-P-TO is the steering committee in charge of organ transplantation activities at the EDQM/Council of Europe. Its mandate includes raising awareness on organ, tissue and cell donation, transplantation and human application, in addition to elaborating ethical, quality and safety standards in the field of transplantation, promoting the principle of non-commercialisation of organ, tissue and cell donation, and strengthening measures to avoid trafficking.
- 9-10 November: International conference “Towards Global Convergence in Transplantation: Sufficiency, Transparency & Oversight”
This conference, co-organised by the Spanish Organización Nacional de Trasplantes, the World Health Organization and the Council of Europe, under the Spanish Presidency of the Council of the European Union, will highlight important progress made in the field of transplantation, critically review the current situation of donation and transplantation, identify key challenges and devise the future of transplantation in the global arena.
- 11 November: A popular walk
A public walk will be held to help raise awareness of donation and transplantation issues among the general public.
MORE DONORS + MORE TRANSPLANTS = MORE HOPE!
Every single person has a role to play in helping others.
Our social media campaign
Discover what #YourPresentTheirFuture really means, through the stories of Anna, George, Daniel and Julia
Say yes to organ, tissue and cell donation!
The European Donation Day (EDD) aims to stimulate dialogue and encourage European citizens to say yes to organ, tissue and cell donation.
LET'S TALK ABOUT ORGAN, TISSUE AND CELL DONATION!
If you would like to save or improve the lives of many others even after your demise, speak to your relatives and friends about your personal choice concerning organ donation. You may also encourage them to say yes to giving the valuable present of organ donation!
Spread the message in favour of organ, tissue and cell donation!
Share and support EDD on social media: #YourPresentTheirFuture
Donate during your lifetime as well!
Consider helping others during your lifetime by registering to donate your stem cells, found in your bone marrow, or peripheral blood, which can be used for the treatment of blood disorders and immune diseases.
When a baby is born, you can donate the umbilical cord blood, which is also rich in stem cells, and/or the placenta.
You may also consider helping others to fulfil their dream of becoming parents by donating oocytes (women) or sperm (men).
Say yes to giving the valuable present of organ, tissue and cell donation!
Find out all about donation and transplantation in your country and talk about your choice with your family, friends and colleagues! Let's Talk about it!
Useful freely available guidance and information for health professionals
Guide to the quality and safety of organs for transplantation - 8th Edition (2022)
Transplant medicine and transplantation have progressed in recent decades in a way that nobody could have imagined before, yet demand for transplantable organs still far exceeds supply – with important consequences for health. The transplantation of organs oﬀers major therapeutic beneﬁts and improvements to quality of life and is, in many cases, the only life-saving treatment for end-stage organ failure. As with all substances of human origin, transplantation of human organs entails a risk of disease transmission. Comprehensive quality systems and appropriate donor screening and selection must therefore be in place to guarantee the best possible transplantation outcomes. The Guide to the quality and safety of organs for transplantation (Organ Guide) contributes to meeting this need.
The 8th Edition of the Organ Guide collates state-of-the-art information to provide an indispensable overview of the most recent advancements in the ﬁeld and technical guidance to ensure the safety and quality of human organs intended for transplantation, with the ultimate goal of improving successful and safe organ transplantation rates. Easy access to this information is essential for all stakeholders concerned – professionals involved in identifying possible organ donors, co-ordinators managing living or deceased donation pathways, those responsible for the allocation and clinical use of human organs, quality managers within the process, and health authorities responsible for donation and transplantation programmes.
Guide to the quality and safety of tissues and cells for human applications - 5th Edition (2022)
The Guide to the quality and safety of tissues and cells for human application (the “Tissues and cells guide”) provides readers with a comprehensive overview of the most recent advances in the field, as well as technical guidance to ensure the quality and safety of human tissues and cells for human application. It is intended for professionals involved in identifying potential donors; transplant co-ordinators managing the process of donation after death; bone marrow and cord blood collection centres; fertility clinics; tissue establishments processing and storing tissues and cells; testing laboratories; organisations responsible for human application; inspectors auditing the establishments; and health authorities responsible for tissues and cells for human application.
The 5th Edition of the Tissues and Cells Guide provides fully revised information and guidance – aligned with current scientific knowledge, expert opinion and the results of many international projects – to optimise quality and minimise risks associated with the use of human tissues and cells. It provides professionals with the guidance necessary to improve the rate of successful clinical applications of tissues and cells. The ethical principles and guidelines relevant in the context of tissue and cell donation and related human applications are also addressed.
Learn more by downloading the Tissues and cells guide information leaflet (PDF).
The electronic version of the guide can be downloaded for free online.
The paper version is available for purchase from the EDQM WebStore.
Transplantation events training resources
Over the years, the EDQM has organised several webinars on a variety of topics relevant to organ, tissue and cell donation and transplantation. They provide the best available scientific data to support professionals worldwide, increase the safety of donated tissues and minimise risks for staff working in donation centres and tissue establishments.
Carefully prepared by the European Committee on Organ Transplantation, these booklets are aimed at helping families, donors and parents, and provide independent and scientifically grounded information. These titles are available in English and French.