20 September 2004
BRUSSELS – Two patients on the donor transplant list are dying each week due to a lack of available organs, it was reported on Monday.
The figures apply to patients who were put on the waiting list in 2002.
The situation is worsening because even though organ donations have remained stable, a growing number of sick people are being added to the list.
Between 22 and 25 out of every million people donate organs every year, with a peak of 248 in 2003, according to Professor Luc Colenbie, in charge of transplants at Ghent university.
The lists are growing particularly because of patients with hepatitis.
The situation has also been created because of advances in technology that allow people to survive for longer, while waiting for new organs.
Colenbie wants to increase the number of donors through information campaigns about the laws on organ donations.
“In Belgium, everyone who is not totally opposed could be a potential donor,” he said.
Around 200,000 people have expressly refused to donate their organs and 10 to 15 percent of families refuse to authorise donation if a loved one dies.
[Copyright Expatica 2004]
Subject: Belgian news