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The Council for Organ and Tissue Donation (Donationsrådet) is an advisory board to the National board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen) for issues concerning organ and tissue donation. It was founded by the government in 2005.
About organ donation
More than 700 Swedes got a new organ last year. According to a survey made by Socialstyrelsen in 2010, eight out of ten citizens are willing to donate their organs and tissues after their death. But the need for organs and tissues is vastly greater than the number available for transplantation.
How to consent or not to organ and tissue donation
Register in the National donor register (a swedish personal identification number is needed), fill out a donor card and/or talk to your family about your wishes. Always make your wishes known to your family.
Who can be a donor?
Almost everyone is able to become a donor. There is no age limit. Nobody needs to refrain from consenting to donation because of age, habits of life or illnesses.
Many people think that they have to die young to be able to donate organs and tissue. And that’s not right. Older donors can often donate their liver, kidneys, corneas and heart valves to considerably younger recipients. It’s possible to become a donor even though you are 75 or older.
Many more can donate tissue
Only a very small number of people die under the circumstances where they are able to donate their organs, because organs have to be transplanted very soon after someone has died and could only be donated by someone who has died in hospital.
Organs come from a person who is declared dead while on a ventilator in the intensive care unit, generally as a result of a cerebral hemorrhage or swelling of the brain. Very few people die under such circumstances but many more people can donate tissues after their death.
Every year there are 1, 000 tissue transplantations carried out through in Sweden.
What organs can be transplanted?
Organs that are transplanted are: kidneys, liver, heart, lungs, pancreas and intestines. With some extension also pancreas islet could be extracted and prepared for transplantation to diabetic patients. Tissues that are being transplanted are mainly corneas and heart valves but also skin and bone.