More organ donations outpaced by higher demand

The number of people in Switzerland waiting for a heart, lung, liver or kidney transplant continued to increase last year despite a spurt in donations.

This content was published on January 28, 2011 minutes and agencies

Swisstransplant, a foundation that promotes organ donations and transplants said on Friday that 1,029 people were on the waiting list at the beginning of January 2011 – up three per cent on the previous year.

The organisation also announced that the number of people who received an organ went from 466 to 504 last year.

In total 214 donors, notably younger people, made organ contributions, but it was not enough to cover demand. Fifty-nine patients died before they could benefit from a transplant.

Swisstransplant president Franz Immer said improved coordination among regions in Switzerland led to an increased donor rate over the past five years. He added cooperation with other countries remained key.

Switzerland has a low organ donation rate compared with neighbouring European countries: Less than 13 people per one million residents, according to official data.

Immer said under current rules a person’s organs can only be harvested after death if consent was given beforehand. But there is no age limit on who can be a donor.

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