Why are blood donors kept anonymous

Blood and organ donation

A transplant or transplant is an operation in which healthy organs or tissues from a deceased person are transferred to an acutely or chronically seriously ill person. In this way, lost functions of the recipient's own organs can be replaced.

So the transplant helps to save the lives of such people or to improve the quality of life.

The transplant causes the restoration of bodily functions that were previously lost and that could only be partially compensated for by machine replacement therapy, for example by dialysis in the case of severe kidney failure, or not at all, as in the case of advanced cardiac insufficiency.

What is the risk of a transplant?

Every transplantation of foreign organs triggers defense reactions in the recipient's body, which can lead to the rejection of the foreign organ received. These reactions can be weakened with medication. Anti-immune drugs have seen significant improvements over the past decade. Nevertheless, it happens again and again that the body does not accept a transplanted organ or tissue, so that it is rejected.

The desired and medication-induced weakening of the defense reaction can favor infections in the patient. Therefore, close monitoring is required immediately after the transplant. Side effects caused by medication cannot be ruled out. These have become rarer today with improved drugs.

Is it absolutely certain that the person from whom the organ is removed is dead?

It goes on to say that sociological, cultural and religious aspects are also of great importance in the experience of death; out medical point of view a person is dead when all brain functions have irrevocably failed. The irrevocable failure of all brain functions can be determined safely and without errors. In a patient with definitely failed brain functions, respiratory and cardiac arrest would have occurred for a long time if breathing and circulation were not kept artificially stable in the intensive care unit; the Determination of death of a patient with possible organ donation is subject to a strict regulation set by the legislator. In Italy there is one for that three-person medical commission responsible, which over a precisely defined period of time (six hours for adults) determines the ultimate failure of all brain functions and confirms it if necessary.

How does a transplant work?

If a patient is found to be suitable as an organ recipient, he is registered with a transplant center with his consent. This can be done, for example, at the University Clinic in Innsbruck, which is connected to the medical data center "Eurotransplant" in Leyden / Netherlands, or at one of the Italian supraregional transplant centers, for example "AIRT" and "NITp".

After the death of the donor has been determined and documented by the medical commission (a forensic doctor, a neurologist and an intensive care doctor) and his consent has been obtained, further examinations required for the transplant are carried out: determination of the blood group, tissue typing, exclusion of infectious diseases, exclusion of a tumor disease etc. By comparing the tissue typing of the donor and recipient, the suitable recipient for the organ / tissue is then determined. The donated organs are surgically removed ("explanted") by a medical team and then transported to their destination (by car, helicopter or plane). At the same time, the recipient is immediately notified of the availability of a donor organ and prepared for the transplant.

Organ transplant information

Organ donors can be people who have died as a result of an accident or illness. Despite the death that has occurred, the circulatory system, due to the lack of blood supply to the entire brain structures and the resulting extinction and unrecoverable brain function, is kept so stable through intensive treatment that the organs to be transplanted are supplied with blood and thus remain functional. Only under these conditions can organs be successfully transplanted to recipients.

The organs that can currently be transferred are the kidneys, the liver, the heart, the pancreas, kidney-pancreas as well as the lungs and heart-lung. The cornea of ​​the eyes, blood vessels, skin, bones, tendons, heart valves or the ossicles are also suitable for transplantation. The kidney transplant is the most common organ transplant performed.

What is a multiple organ removal?

This means that several organs are removed from the same donor, which can benefit different recipients. The removal of several organs during an operation is therefore the rule, provided that these organs are functional. Because the organs function outside the body for different periods of time, i.e. without blood circulation, some organs have to be transplanted immediately, while others can be preserved or stored for up to 36 hours.

How long can a removed organ be able to be transplanted?

The most common organs transplanted are the kidneys. If they are rinsed with cold immediately after removal with a special nutrient solution, they can still be transplanted after 36 hours. The transport takes place in appropriately cooled, germ-free special containers. The heart, liver and pancreas can only be preserved for a few hours. Tissues that are slowly supplied with blood, such as the cornea, bones, tendons and ossicles, can be stored for a longer period of time, again appropriately cooled.

Up to what age can organs be removed and from when?

In contrast to the past, there is no longer an age limit today. Medical developments make explantations possible from newborns to old age. It is not age but organ function that determines whether an organ is suitable for transplantation or not.

Transplant facilities

While in many countries many people unfortunately often wait in vain for an organ transplant, South Tyrol is in a very good position with regard to the possibilities of a timely organ transplant, also due to the existing agreement with the State of Tyrol and the excellent cooperation with the supraregional transplant association "AIRT" at the national level Happy situation. In this context, I judge that the waiting times for affected South Tyrolean patients are shorter than those in the national comparison. South Tyroleans wait around two and a half to three years for a kidney transplant, and ten to twelve months for liver removal calculate, in the case of lung surgery, it will be eight months. Around 70 people are currently waiting in South Tyrol for an organ that will prolong or save their lives. On average, 25 organs have been sent to Innsbruck from South Tyrol in the past few years (mostly kidneys) and around 50 Italian citizens (including South Tyroleans) were transplanted in Innsbruck. First and foremost, it was kidney and liver transplants that were performed most frequently there. An average of ten organs from South Tyrol were assigned to the interregional network AIRT.

What is Eurotransplant? How does this facility work? Which countries are connected?

Eurotransplant in Leyden (Holland) is the central collection point for medical data from patients who are registered for transplantation. The following countries in Europe are connected to this headquarters: the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Austria and the province of Bolzano. Scandiatransplant based in Aarhus (Denmark) is responsible for the Scandinavian countries, and Francetransplant based in Paris is responsible for France. Great Britain has its own headquarters, the United Kingdom Transplant Service (UKTS) based in Bristol, which also looks after the Republic of Ireland. The Eurotransplant headquarters is networked with all other transplant centers. The values ​​of the donor and the possible recipients are compared via computers. This will help identify the most suitable patient for the transplant.

What is AIRT? How does this facility work? Which regions of Italy are affiliated?

AIRT (Associazione Interregionale Trapianti) is a supra-regional center for transplants with the current coordination center in Florence. This supraregional center includes the regions of Emilia Romagna, Piedmont, Tuscany, Aosta Valley, Apulia and the autonomous province of Bolzano. The other two Italian supraregional transplant centers are NITp (Nord-Italia-transplant) with coordination headquarters in Milan and OCST (Organizzazione Centro Sud Trapianti). The three supraregional transplant centers are in turn coordinated by the National Center for Transplants, based at the Supreme Sanitary Institute in Rome. The central coordination point for organ donation in South Tyrol is located at the Bolzano hospital.

What criteria are used to report an organ donor to the transplant center in Innsbruck or to the coordination center in Florence?

Since the overwhelming proportion of patients resident in South Tyrol have opted for entry in the waiting lists for organ recipients at the Innsbruck University Clinic since 1976, most of the donor organs that are removed in Bolzano are sent to Innsbruck. Only a small proportion of the patients in our province are registered in the waiting lists of the organ transplant centers belonging to AIRT (e.g. in Bologna, Modena). This fact is taken into account in organ allocation.