Background: The Belgian Section of Transplant Coordinators, created in 1997 under the auspices of the Belgian Transplant Society, is in charge of the collection of the national data about donor/procurement activities.
Methods: Data are collected in all Belgian transplant centers. An annual report is finalized by combining these data with data from the Eurotransplant database.
Results: An increase of both potential donors (n = 501, +14.4%) and effective donors (n = 273, +16.7%) was observed in 2006 versus 2005. Among effective donors, 28 were non-heart-beating donors (10.25%). Overall donor ratio was 26.26 donors per million inhabitants. Within potential donors, absence of organ harvesting was due to medical contraindications (28%), family refusal (13%), or legal refusal (2%). Donor mean age was 46.4 years and mean organs/donor was 3.21 +/- 1.7. An overall reduction of Belgian waiting lists was observed in 2006 as compared with 2005 (-5.7% for kidney, -25.7% for liver, -9.4% for heart, -6.7% for lung, and -11.7% for pancreas), while waiting list mortality was 18% for liver, 11% for heart, and 7% for lung. As compared with 2005, transplant activities increased for kidney (n = 485, +24.3%), heart +/- lungs (n = 73, +7.3%), and lungs (n = 83, +39.4%) but decreased for liver (n = 236, -2.1%). Living donation represented 8.45% for kidney (+28.1% vs 2005) and 8% for liver transplantation (-29.6%).
Conclusion: Globally, a marked increase of procurement and transplant activities was observed in 2006, allowing to limit waiting list and waiting list mortality. Further increase of living donor activity and non-heart-beating donation remains necessary to extend the donor pool.