Every year in Spain around 8,000 people see their lives improved thanks to a very efficient and effective organ donor programme. There is a national organ transplant coordination centre, but alot of work is required at the regional level too – and this is handled through the Andalucian regional health service.
It’s hard to imagine the number of people who must act in a responsible and coordinated manner in order to bring about a successful transplant. Coordinators must work together with Guardia Civil, national and local police, ambulance drivers, airports, airlines, hospital staff, surgeons... An estimated 80 to 100 people are involved from the time an organ becomes available until it makes it safely into the body of a waiting patient.
You can rest assured that the organ transplant programme in Andalucia is a highly professional, world-class operation taken very seriously by all involved. In fact, it is taken so seriously that it has gained tremendous respect from the public and has therefore managed to surpass even the most optimistic expectations in terms of cooperation on the part of families who are asked to donate the organs of recently passed loved ones.
Organs and tissues are only harvested from the bodies of those who have no communicable diseases such as infections or cancer, and usually they come from those who have lost their lives in accidents causing injury to the head. The organs transplanted in Andalucia are: kidneys, hearts, livers, lungs and pancreas. The tissues used in Andalucian hospitals are: corneas, bone marrow, bones, skin, valves, and veins.
The goal of the coordinators is to provide utmost transparency. However, the families of donors remain anonymous as do the recipients of the donated organs and tissues. Health authorities do offer information regarding the success of transplants to donors’ family members.
Selection of donor recipients is based entirely on medical criteria with the main goal being to find the best match for each organ and ensure that the transplant is successful.
One last word of reassurance, removal of organs and tissues from a donor’s body is always carried out in a hospital and is a surgical procedure that does not disfigure the body of the deceased. This procedure is carried out very rapidly as health authorities assure us that it does not delay funerals, which, in Andalucia, usually occur the day after someone has died.
Click here to find out how you can register as an organ donor.