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European Day for Organ Donation and Transplantation - 9 October 2021


Why a European Organ Donation Day (EODD)?

The European Day for Organ Donation and Transplantation (EODD) is held to raise awareness of the importance of organ, tissue and cell donation as a way to improve and save lives.

The mission of the EDQM/Council of Europe is to set quality, safety and ethical standards for organ, tissue and cell donation and transplantation for health professionals.

By organising the EODD in a different country every year, the EDQM seeks not only to encourage public debate and reflection on this topic, but also to invite the medical community and policy makers across Europe to reflect on the importance of this life-saving therapy.

Above all, the EODD should be seen as an occasion to honour all organ donors and their families and to thank transplantation professionals, whose hard work helps to save lives and improve many people’s quality of life.

Taking into account the COVID-19 pandemic affecting all countries worldwide and the continuing uncertainty related to the organisation of major public events until the end of the year, the EDQM has decided to celebrate EODD 2020 online. Poland will be the hosting country for EODD 2021 and more information will be provided as it becomes available.

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Organ donation and transplantation: some key facts and figures

Did you know? On average 41 000 organ transplantations are performed in Europe every year, and while 48 000 new patients are added at some time to a waiting lists. This clearly shows that there is a lack of available organs. This year, with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on donation and transplantation programmes worldwide, the number of patients waiting to receive an organ is only likely to increase.  

Learn more: Newsletter Transplant Volume 25, October 2020

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Useful freely available guidance and information for health professionals

The Guide to the quality and safety of organs for transplantation (the “Organ guide”) updates professionals on the most recent advances in the field and provides technical guidance to ensure the safety and quality of human organs intended for transplantation. It is essential that all concerned – professionals involved in identifying possible organ donors, co-ordinators managing the process of donation after death and that of living donation, 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 – have easy access to this information. The Organ guide supports professionals on a practical level to improve the rate of successful and safe organ transplantation.

Learn more by downloading the Organ guide information leaflet (PDF).

The Guide to the quality and safety of tissues and cells for human applications (the “Tissues and cells guide”) 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.

Learn more by downloading the Tissues and cells guide information leaflet (PDF).

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the EDQM has organised several webinars to discuss experiences, respond to questions on the impact of COVID-19 on tissue donation and transplantation and provide the best available scientific data to support professionals worldwide and increase the safety of donated tissues and minimise risks for staff working in donation centres and tissue establishments.

Discover all of the training resources available on demand.

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Online material to help you to promote organ, tissue and cell donation (available for printing and translation into all languages)


Fingertip Be ready to save lives

This ready-to-use small flyer presents at a glance how donation can save and improve lives.

This document is also available in French.


Carefully prepared by the European Committee on Organ Transplantation (CD-P-TO), these booklets aer aimed at helping families, donors and parents, and provide independent and scientifically grounded information.

Donation of oocytes, a guide for women to support informed decisions” (August 2018)

Exercise your way to better post-transplant health” (July 2016)

Umbilical cord blood banking” - 2nd edition (2016). This booklet is also available in French.

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