Tissue Medicine Requires Tissue Donations
An obvious requirement of any success in tissue transplantations are tissue donations. The need for tissue transplants in Germany could be completely covered by national donation programs. Every year about 900,000 people die in Germany. It is estimated that about two thirds of these deaths are possible tissue donors. These numbers result in a completely different starting situation for tissue donations than for organ donations. Approximately 4,000 deceased people are considered for these donations. One of the prerequisites for organ donation is the final, irreversible failure of the overall function of the brain, the so-called brain death. Tissue donations, on the other hand, are also possible in people who have died of normal cardiovascular death. Also, age and cancer aren’t determining factors for tissue donation. A doctor must only have found reliable signs of death, such as dead spots or rigor mortis. Tissue donations are possible in every hospital in Germany.
Organ donors also donated tissue to the DGFG network between 2007 and 2018
Tissue donation in brain-dead patients and planned organ donation
Organ donors are also potential tissue donors! Approximately ten percent of the tissue donations in the tissue network are made in the context of multi-organ donations. Almost all donated heart valves and blood vessels currently originate from these. The transplantation of human heart valves or blood vessels is often the only possible treatment for seriously ill patients. For this reason, we are urgently dependent on the notification of such donations in accordance with independent contractual agreements. Our medical service is available 24 hours a day to inform about potential donors. A tissue donation without a contract is always possible. In these cases, the DGFG contacts the competent national authority and sends a mobile collection team. For the notifying clinic, there is no more effort required.