Organ donation in Greece

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johnincrete
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Location: Chania

Organ donation in Greece

Postby johnincrete » Fri Oct 06, 2017 5:31 am

When I lived in England, I carried an organ donor card because I believe that my physical body is better used to help others than to rot away in the ground. Is there any equivalent here in Greece?

The haste with which dead people are buried seems to make organ donation very difficult to achieve despite the donor's views. The Tory promise to make organ donation the default is a response to the lack of donors: does the same lack apply here?

louisejersey
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Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2011 8:41 pm
Location: Jersey/ Neapoli Crete

Re: Organ donation in Greece

Postby louisejersey » Fri Oct 06, 2017 6:43 am

Hi, I may be wrong, but I believe that if you are British, and actually lived in Britain between certain dates (around 1986 to late 90's) they would not accept your organs anyway.
The reason that I think this, is that last year a few of us tried to donate blood at our local hospital for a friend who was having surgery. Blood from British people was refused due to the risk of Mad Cow Disease.
However I seem to remember that someone from the west of the Island didn't have problems donating, so perhaps here in the East, we are just a bit behind the times?

Kilkis
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Re: Organ donation in Greece

Postby Kilkis » Fri Oct 06, 2017 8:11 am

This is a Greece wide ban and it doesn't just apply to the British. Anybody of any nationality, including Greeks, who lived in the UK for more than a defined period between the proscribed dates cannot donate blood or organs because of the risk that they could be contaminated with the prion linked to mad cow disease. I don't know the exact dates, although those suggested by Louise are reasonable, or the maximum period, although I think it might be 6 months. Blood donation centres usually have a poster/notice spelling this out.

The ban can cause problems for ex-pats needing operation since they are expected to get friends and relatives to donate as much blood as the doctor expects to need. The donated blood is not actually used in the operation and so can be of any blood group. It is simply a matter of maintaining stocks in the system. Many of us know lots of other ex-pats who would gladly donate if we needed it but perhaps not as many Greeks.

Warwick

bobscott
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Location: Kokkino Horio

Re: Organ donation in Greece

Postby bobscott » Fri Oct 06, 2017 11:30 am

I think those who had lived in the UK between 1980 and 1996 are the ones who are banned from donating blood. Whatever nationality.

Interestingly though, I have had four lots of surgery in Crete since arriving in 1997 and each time was asked to provide a donor. On one occasion an Albanian friend made a donation for me and on another, an Irishman was able to donate for me; but on the other occasions I was unable to meet the requirement because of the mad cow disease problem. The hospitals accepted that and I had the operations as planned.

Last autumn my wife had surgery here and blood donation wasn't even mentioned. Perhaps in Chania now they know it's pointless asking Brits to find donors? Bob.
Yesterday today was tomorrow. Don't dilly dally!

louisejersey
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Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2011 8:41 pm
Location: Jersey/ Neapoli Crete

Re: Organ donation in Greece

Postby louisejersey » Fri Oct 06, 2017 12:05 pm

Sorry, I should of course have said "people who lived in Britain", not just British People. :)

Jeffstclair
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Re: Organ donation in Greece

Postby Jeffstclair » Fri Oct 06, 2017 1:25 pm

I wonder if it would apply to someone who lived in the UK who was a non meat eater ?

Kilkis
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Re: Organ donation in Greece

Postby Kilkis » Fri Oct 06, 2017 2:19 pm

I doubt if anybody Greek would be able to get their head round the concept that somebody didn't eat meat, Jeff?

Warwick

filippos
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Re: Organ donation in Greece

Postby filippos » Fri Oct 06, 2017 3:14 pm

Jeffstclair wrote:I wonder if it would apply to someone who lived in the UK who was a non meat eater ?
And how would you identify the vegetarians and vegans? Take their word they'd not eaten meat?

Mixos
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Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2012 8:26 am
Location: North East Crete or S.W.England

Re: Organ donation in Greece

Postby Mixos » Fri Oct 06, 2017 3:40 pm

Blood donors in the UK have a blood sample tested at every donation, for CJD, HIV, Hepatitis, inside leg measurement ... ok not that, but just about every nasty virus known to mankind, so I would imagine that the Greek blood donation service does the same. In the UK the donation is not used on NHS patients until the sample test comes back clean, so if the Greeks use the same precautions (let's hope they do) I don't see why they need a blanket ban.

Incidentally, UK blood donors now get a text message a couple of weeks after their donor session telling them which hospital their "pint" went to. That's a nice touch.

louisejersey
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Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2011 8:41 pm
Location: Jersey/ Neapoli Crete

Re: Organ donation in Greece

Postby louisejersey » Fri Oct 06, 2017 3:59 pm

Re being a Vegetarian, Nope, my husband said that he is, made no difference. . :) .

altohb
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Location: Sitia

Re: Organ donation in Greece

Postby altohb » Fri Oct 06, 2017 4:16 pm

Mixos wrote:In the UK the donation is not used on NHS patients until the sample test comes back clean, so if the Greeks use the same precautions (let's hope they do) I don't see why they need a blanket ban.



This is timely, as I've been making enquiries about donating blood here - looks as if I can save myself investigating further. It is a great shame. There are probably not a huge number of people involved overall, but it is a waste.

Kilkis
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Location: Near Chania

Re: Organ donation in Greece

Postby Kilkis » Fri Oct 06, 2017 5:10 pm

Mixos wrote:Blood donors in the UK have a blood sample tested at every donation, for CJD, HIV, Hepatitis,...


The last time I was involved with this issue was 2012. As far as I can tell the first accurate test for vCJD in blood was not developed until 2014. Certainly the Handbook of Transfusion Medicine published in 2013 states that, "...no practical screening test for blood donors has yet been developed". Perhaps the Greek blood transfusion service do now screen for vCJD or perhaps they think it is more cost effective to exclude a relatively small group of people rather than screen. Also I cannot find any definitive statement that the UK blood transfusion service routinely screens for vCJD although an effective test does now exist. The NHS web site simply refers to people who received a blood transfusion since 1980 not being able to give blood, because of the possibility of it being infected with vCJD. It does not mention screening while it does explicitly mention strict screening for Hepatitis B and C and HIV. If they were screening why would they keep the ban?

Warwick

Jeffstclair
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Re: Organ donation in Greece

Postby Jeffstclair » Fri Oct 06, 2017 5:51 pm

Does anyone know if the Greek system of blood donation is part of the public health system , or a private for profit organisation like the National blood transfusion service in the UK....

Kilkis
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Location: Near Chania

Re: Organ donation in Greece

Postby Kilkis » Fri Oct 06, 2017 5:58 pm

As far as I know it is part of the public health system. Certainly the blood transfusion centres tend to be in public hospitals, e.g Chania General Hospital at Mournies. I don't know if the private hospitals have to pay for the units they use?

Warwick

john4d
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Location: Near Vamos

Re: Organ donation in Greece

Postby john4d » Sun Oct 08, 2017 4:56 pm

When my late wife had an operation in Heraklion University Hospital she was asked to provide so many units of blood. Greek, German and USA friends donated at Chania Hospital on her behalf. When I tried to donate I was refused for the reasons stated in previous posts.However because I had turned up and offered blood the Doctor said he would credit a unit to her 'account'. Very Cretan, very kind.
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