The University Hospital of Gran Canaria Doctor Negrín, dependent center Ministry of Health of the Government of the Canary Islands, reached during 2020, as shown in the annual donation and transplantation data for the Canary Islands, the 30 organ donors, increasing by 7% the results obtained in 2019. In this way, the hospital center becomes, for yet another year, the hospital in the Autonomous Community of the Canary Islands with the highest number of organ donors, also ranking above the average of donors from the rest of the national territory.
El Negrín has doubled its donation activity from the 15 donors obtained during the year 2017 to the 30 of the last year, largely thanks to the implementation of new donation strategies and the involvement of health professionals from different services such as Emergencies, Palliative, Neurology, Neurosurgery and Pneumology, among others. This circumstance has allowed the expansion of donation procedures, normally initiated in Intensive Medicine or Resuscitation units.
This activity and involvement of all the professionals of the center is especially remarkable in the current context marked in the last year by the pandemic generated by Covid-19. In most hospitals in the national territory there has been a very significant decrease in donation and transplantation activity. However, the need to live up to the altruism demonstrated by patients and families has required prioritizing donation programs at the center, as has also happened with the maintenance of the rest of the urgent activity.
The increase with respect to the data of 2019 in donation occurs especially in the modality in which death is established by circulatory and respiratory criteria, that is, donation in asystole. Precisely, in this modality, started in Spain in recent years and which requires a different and more complex infrastructure than the classic donation after brain death, the increase has been 75%.
Thanks to these thirty donors, it has been possible to 85 organ transplants; offering 85 opportunities to continue living to people whose only hope was in a transplant. An act of solidarity that, after death, also affects each of the family and friends of the transplanted person, since it allows them to continue sharing life with that loved one. The professionals involved in this process insist that the donor is the most important piece of all this gear. For this reason, all the professionals of the hospital center thank the donors and their families for this act of generosity that makes possible the healing of patients.
From the hospital center it is recalled that, after acceptance of the donation process by the family, in each procedure it is necessary to coordinate the work of more than 100 professionals from health and non-health groups, who work in unison and in record time to get the expected result. The Hospital Management Directorate appreciates the work and effort of all these professionals who, altruistically, participate in this process such as, among others, the security forces, emergency services, airport personnel, airlines and courts.
How to become a donor
Between 5 and 10% of the people who are waiting for a transplant die each year, so despite these results, professionals insist on the importance of maintaining this level of donation in the Canary Islands. It is necessary to remember that although the donor card expresses the will to donate, its value is only testimonial, so that if a person wants their desire to donate to be safely respected, they must make an Advance Declaration of Will.
It is a document that contains the instructions and options that the healthcare personnel who attend to the patient must respect regarding the care and treatment of their pathology, in cases where they cannot express their wishes personally. Provisions regarding your body and organ and tissue donation may be reflected in this document.
Similarly, the transplant coordinators must, in all cases in which the deceased person or who may die in the short term may be a donor, ask their family members to sign the consent for the donation. The family, if it is aware of the deceased’s decision, tends to respect the will of the deceased. Therefore, in general, it is enough to express to loved ones in life the desire to help other people through donation.