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eISSN: 2329-0358

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Effect of Organ Scandal on Corneal Donation Rate and Organ Donors at a German University Hospital

Daniel Röck, Peter Petersen, Efdal Yoeruek, Sebastian Thaler, Karl Ulrich Bartz-Schmidt, Tobias Röck

(Centre for Ophthalmology, University of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany)

Ann Transplant 2017; 22:425-430

DOI: 10.12659/AOT.901385


BACKGROUND: The purpose of this study was to assess the effect of an organ transplantation scandal on the rate of corneal donations and organ donors at the University Hospital Tübingen.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: Data from all hospital deaths from January 2012 to December 2013 were analyzed retrospectively. Each deceased patient was considered as a potential corneal donor. The corneal donor procurement was handled by an ophthalmic resident on a full-time basis with standard used unchanged set of procedures. Each patient who died due to cerebral complications was considered as a potential organ donor. During the two-year period, a German transplantation scandal occurred at the end of 2012 and received worldwide attention. The rates of corneal donation and organ donation in 2012 and 2013 were examined and evaluated.
RESULTS: Among the 1685 deceased patients, approval for corneal donation was received in 220 cases (13.1%): 124 cases (15.0%) in 2012 and 96 cases (11.2%) in 2013. This corresponds to a decline of 23%. The leading causes of nonfulfillment of corneal donations were refusal to donation: 401 cases (48.4%) in 2012 and 445 cases (52.0%) in 2013; and medical contraindications: 201 cases (24.2%) in 2012 and 212 cases (24.8%) in 2013. During the two-year period, consent for organ donation was obtained in 25 cases (1.5%): 15 cases (1.8%) in 2012 and 10 cases (1.2%) in 2013. The number of realized organ donors was 20 cases (1.2%): 12 cases (1.4%) in 2012 and 8 cases (0.9%) in 2013. This corresponds to a decline of 33%.
CONCLUSIONS: After a transplantation scandal, the number of realized corneal donors and realized organ donors decreased significantly. It seems that increasing professional performance is very important to gaining trust inside and outside the hospital and improving corneal and organ donation rate.

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