Record number organ donations in Netherlands last year

Last year a record number of people in the Netherlands donated their organs and tissue. A total of 273 deceased people donated their organs last year and 2,398 people donated tissue, according to preliminary figures from Dutch transplant foundation NTS. In total 815 organs were transplanted, an increase of 15 percent compared to 2017, NOS reports.

"Although the increase in organ and tissue transplants is a very promising development, we are not there yet. There are still people who do not receive an organ in time and therefore die", NTS director Bernadette Haase said to NOS. She also points out that the number of people on the organ transplant waiting list increased last year. The reason for this increase is currently under investigation.

Last year 336 deceased people were registered as organ donors with the NTS. Of them 273's organs were suitable for transplant. 157 people's organs were donated after their blood circulation had stopped, the other 116 were declared brain dead.  The number of donations from living people decreased slightly from 561 in 2017 to 522 last year. Live donations almost always involve kidney donations. 

The NTS partly attributes the record number of transplants to a new technique called machine perfusion. This technique means that organs that were previously rejected can still be transplanted after a treatment in a machine, according to the broadcaster. 

Last year 2.398 people donated tissue, such as bone or skin. An adjustment to the criteria led to a large increase in this category, according to the NTS. As of January 1st last year, blood poisoning is no longer a reason to reject a tissue donation.