Despite pandemic: number of organ donations stable

Status: 12.01.2022 12:59 p.m.

Despite the stress in the intensive care units due to corona patients, the number of organ donations in Germany remained stable in the past year. However, there are still few donors.

Despite the corona pandemic, the number of organ donations in Germany remained stable over the past year. In 2021, 933 people donated one or more organs after their death, announced the German Organ Transplantation Foundation (DSO). In 2020 there were 913 donors. At the same time, however, the number of organs removed in this country has decreased by 1.2 percent to 2905 compared to 2020 (2941).

Among other things, 1492 kidneys, 742 livers, 310 hearts, 299 lungs, 57 pancreas and five intestines were donated. Overall, the number of organ donations remained at roughly the same level as in 2019, as in 2020, despite the corona pandemic in 2021.

“In view of the pandemic, which has been going on for almost two years, and the resulting constant exposure to intensive care units, this stability is to be assessed positively,” said Axel Rahmel, Medical Director of the DSO. In contrast to other European countries, there was no drop in organ donation in Germany.

The number of donors remains low

However, the number of donors is still very low. In 2021 the DSO counted 11.2 donors per million inhabitants. In the 46 German transplant centers, 2,979 organs were transferred after post-mortem donation last year. The fact that the number of transplanted organs was higher than the number of donated organs is due to the international network Eurotransplant.

“A total of 2853 seriously ill patients were enabled to continue to live or a better quality of life was given through one or more organs,” said the DSO. “At the same time, however, there were 8,448 people on the waiting list in this country at the end of the year.”

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