Samaritan donation



The term Samaritan donation it is used in the transplant sector and indicates the choice of a living person (living donor) to offer his own organ to save the life of a patient with whom he has no family or emotional ties (read the Hoax).

This practice, which takes its name from the Gospel parable of the Good Samaritan, is only allowed in Italy for kidney transplantation and has been the subject of opinions expressed by the National Bioethics Committee and the Superior Health Council, in which the character not a substitute (as long as there are no biological compatibility priorities) for transplantation from a living blood donor or transplantation from a cadaver.

In addition to Italy, the transplant from Samaritan donor it is also practiced in the USA, Spain, Great Britain, Holland and some other countries, particularly in Northern Europe.

Before proceeding with the removal of the organ, the Samaritan donor is subjected to a series of clinical and psychological tests aimed at ascertaining his physical fitness, the real motivation and the potential risk factors to which he is encountering.

The procedure, which involves carrying out a series of operations in sequence in different hospitals, even very distant from each other, is strictly regulated.

As a greater guarantee of the whole process, all the assessments on the patient's condition are carried out by experts who do not belong (third party experts) to the health structures that carry out the interventions.

Once taken from the Samaritan donor, the organ can be assigned to a person (recipient) on the waiting list or, alternatively, it can be used to trigger mechanisms "Open chain" between donor / recipient pairs that are incompatible with each other at the immunological level or by blood group.

In this case, the Samaritan donor, whose organ is assigned to the recipient of a couple incompatible with his own donor, frees the organ of the donor which becomes usable for a second recipient incompatible with his own donor, thus triggering a mechanism that is repeated for a ever increasing number of couples.

This creates a chain called 'Samaritan' which multiplies the number of recipients.

In Italy the first Samaritan donation was performed in a Lombard center on 7 April 2015 by a kidney donor who made it possible for 5 incompatible couples to be transplanted.

The entire procedure lasted approximately 72 hours and involved 4 transplant centers (Siena, Milan Niguarda, Pisa, Milan Policlinico), 11 medical teams, 150 people including doctors, nurses, resuscitators and State Police operators in charge of organ transport , 6 donors (5 females and 1 male, of which one was the Samaritan donor and the other five were from the cross couples) and 6 recipients (5 males and 1 female, of which 5 from the cross couples and 1 from the waiting list from deceased of the region of the Samaritan donor).

The coordination of the entire operation, which pertained to the removal and transplant procedures, was managed by the National Transplant Center (CNT) and the National Transplant Operative Center (CNTO).

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