The Slovenia Times

Slovenians opt increasingly for organ donations

Health & Medicine

A record number of Slovenians registered to become posthumous organ donors last year. As many as 2,011 entered their name in the national registry, which now has 13,498 donors registered.

Most of the donors who registered last year were between 19 and 28 years old, a report from Slovenija-Transplant reveals. Some 80% of the newly registered donors registered via e-mail.

Transplantation coordinators conducted almost twice as many interviews with relatives about organ donating as the year before.

The report finds that 2002 was a successful year in terms of organ donation. Slovenija Transplat beefed up its activities and held targeted meetings in donor hospitals, where potential donors are identified.

The target for heart and lungs donors was exceeded by more than 60%. Just over 160 patients waited for an organ transplantation last year.

"We have exceeded our annual targets in several segments. Among other things, we have surpassed the magical threshold of 20 actual donors per million people, and with 23.24 donors per million people we ranked third among Eurotransplant member countries," Andrej Gadžijev, Slovenija Transplant director, wrote in the report.

The number of hearts and lungs donations exceeded the plan by more than 60%, and the number of corneas donations exceeded the target of 120 by 51.

Last year, 170 organs were donated posthumously, including 24 hearts. Two kidneys were donated by living donors. The transplant centre at the Ljubljana University Medical Centre transplanted 109 organs, including 29 hearts.

Nevertheless, 161 patients were still on the waiting list for an organ transplant at the end of the year. The average waiting time for a kidney is 350 days, for a heart 240 days, liver 108 days and lungs 179.

The Slovenian national tissue and cell code has also been created as part of the national tissue and cell information system, which is a unique and pioneering work in the EU.

The accurate code ensures better traceability and transparency for institutions and donors for all tissues and cells. Logistical processes and protocols enabling the exchange of organs and tissues with the nearby airports in Munich, Graz and Vienna have also been improved.


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