It coordinates the acquisition and transplantation or organs, and runs registers of donors – the Poltransplant Transplantation Organising and Coordinating Centre founded in 1996 is the key organisation of Polish transplantology.

According to Poltransplant’s data, in 2013 in total 1536 organs were transplanted, of which 75 from living donors. At the end of December 2013, 1478 people waited for a transplant. However, the Central Register of Potential Unrelated Donors of Bone Marrow and Cord Blood includes nearly 540 thousand people.

One of the tasks of Poltransplat is educational activity, i.e. popularising treatment with the use of cell, tissue and organ transplantation.

Coordinating transplantations

Pursuant to the regulations, Poltransplant should receive all information on the possibility of acquiring cells, tissues and organs for transplantation. To this end healthcare centres in the entire country are obliged to immediately inform the Centre of any cases of brain death or irreversibly stopped blood circulation. Poltransplant, in turn, has a duty to inform tissue and cell banks of the possibility of acquiring tissues and cells from a human corpse.

Poltransplant coordinates the entire process, from cell, tissue or organ acquisition through their distribution to transplantation. The process is supported by hospital-based coordinators for transplantations, who are usually employed both by the respective hospital and Poltransplant.

Poltransplant also deals with coordinating the transplantation of organs from unrelated living donors. Its activities also include running a register of living donors and a register of bone marrow and cord blood.

On a case to case basis, Poltransplant also issues consents for the transport of marrow, hematopoietic stem cells from the peripheral blood, cord blood cells and organs from human corpses.

Running the transplantation waiting list

Poltransplant manages the national transplantation waiting list, i.e. a continuously updated list of persons who need transplantation of a kidney, a kidney and pancreas, liver, heart, lung and other organs, with information whether the case is urgent or whether it qualifies for transplantation within the normal schedule.

Doctors qualifying patients for transplantation enter them on the waiting list, which is run in an electronic form and being on the list is the condition for receiving the organ by the potential recipient. When the organ becomes available, the responsible physician from the healthcare establishment which carries out the transplantation, in agreement with Poltransplant, selects the recipients from the list according to the order of entries.

Such a system is to ensure the fair access of recipients, at the same time satisfying the condition of the optimum selection of the organ.

Running registers of refusals of transplantation

The tasks of Poltransplant also includes running an official register of refusals, i.e. a list of statements made by living persons expressing their refusal to collect their organs, tissues or cells.

The refusal should be expressed in person or in writing on a form which can be obtained in healthcare establishments or the Poltransplant website. The refusal is effective as of the data of making entry in the central register.

Persons wishing to express their refusal can also carry a written declaration with them or make a spoken declaration in the presence of two witnesses, which should be confirmed by them in writing; these are also are legally binding. Minors can have their refusals signed by their legal guardians.

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