The number of donors in Greece at a 15-year high

donor transplant

From the ICUs of "Attikon", PGN Patras, "G. Papanikolaou", "Evangelismos", "Sotiria", "Papageorgiou" and PGN Ioannina, the most donors

A strong imprint of voluntary contribution and social solidarity, as expressed through the donation of organs, tissues and cells for transplantation, was left behind in 2023.

According to accounting data released by the National Transplantation Organization (EOM) for the previous year, organ donation and transplants have shown a steady upward trend in recent years, reaching the highest number of deceased donors in the last 15 years and having doubled these donors in just one three years.

In more detail, in 2023, 87 donor families consented to the donation of their organs, giving life to over 200 patients. Hundreds of doctors and other health professionals within the National Organ Donation and Transplantation Network have worked tirelessly to carry out one of our health system's most complex and demanding operations: organ donation from deceased donors.

Worthy of mention is the offer of the Intensive Care Units (ICUs) of our country, from where the donation starts, while among them are the ICUs of the "Attikon" Hospital (16 donors), the Patras Hospital (8 donors), the "C" Hospital Papanikolaou" (7 donors), "Evangelismos" GNA, "Sotiria" GNNT, Ioannina PGN (from 6 donors), "Papageorgiou" GNTH (5 donors).

The above donors contributed to the realisation of 138 kidney transplants at the General Hospital "Laikos", General Hospital "Hippocrates", General Hospital "Evangelismos", PGN Patras and PGN Ioannina, 40 liver transplants at the General Hospital "Hippocrates" and GNA "Laiko" and 14 heart transplants and 12 lungs at the Onasseio Cardiac Surgery Center.

Lung transplants

Especially lung transplants, a newly established transplant program that started in 2020, show a satisfactory dynamic with very good patient results.

At the same time, a record number of living kidney donors was set in 2023. Specifically, 101 living donors, from the family and friends of dialysis patients, proceeded to donate a kidney without problems, confirming the existence of strong human ties, which led to such a decision and the great safety of this surgery for the donor.

The majority of these operations were performed in the Kidney Transplant Unit of the GNA "Laiko" (73 transplants) while living kidney transplants were also successfully performed in the other domestic Kidney Transplant Units.

Regarding transplants of primitive hematopoietic cells (bone marrow) from an unrelated donor, the upward trend that began a decade ago continues steadily, offering more and more hope of salvation to patients with hematological diseases. In 2023, 141 hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) transplants were performed on patients in our country, including 31 children.

Besides the happy fact of finding a compatible donor for these patients, it is noteworthy that today, 30% of transplants come from Greek volunteer donors. In addition, Greek volunteer donors offered life to more than 80 compatible patients in foreign countries.

Thus, our country's participation in the Global Pool of Volunteer Bone Marrow Donors and the international cooperation system for the exchange of A.A.K. is duly sealed, highlighting the great degree of practical awareness of the Greek population as well as the valuable national work of the Donor Centers.

Specifically, during 2023, the "Vision of Hope" Donor Center highlighted 93 and the "Give Life" KEDMOP 27 compatible volunteer donors. The scientific competence and extra effort of the domestic A.A.K.

Transplantation Units are worthy of mention. (PGN "Attikon", GNA "Evangelismos", GONA "Agios Savvas", GNTH "G. Papanikolaou", PGN Patron, PGN Heraklion.

In responding to the ever-increasing requests for hematopoietic cell collections from volunteer donors for domestic needs and those of patients abroad.

"For the 3rd year in a row, we have achieved an improvement in the indicators related to organ donation and transplants, as well as primitive hematopoietic cells, which proves the multifaceted and systematic effort made in the field of transplants, with the participation of all involved bodies, the support of the state and the trust of the citizens," noted the president of the EOM, Georgios Papatheodoridis.

"This improvement allows us to be optimistic that our country can improve further and get closer to European standards as long as the effort and support of the state in the Transplantation System continues. Thus, we have reasonable hopes to believe that 2024 will be an even better year for the benefit of our patients and their relatives," he said.

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