Organ donors come forward

The number of Greeks signing up to be organ donors so far this year is up more then 50 percent on previous years but the number of transplants that have taken place has decreased, it was revealed yesterday. Greece’s National Transplant Organization (EOM) said that in the first nine months of this year, 3,096 people had been issued donor cards, which was just over 50 percent higher than during the same period in 2007 and 2008, when some 1,700 people had signed up. EOM made the figures public ahead of National Organ Donor Day on November 1 but it also highlighted that there has been a small drop in transplants this year. So far in 2009, 60 donors have made 131 transplants possible (the vast majority of which involved kidneys), though in the same period last year 73 people had donated organs for 195 operations. Experts put the decline in transplants down to a lack of intensive-care units at hospitals.