In 25 years, the organ donor population in Belgium has aged considerably. One donor in three is more than 60 years old, the Het Nieuwsblad and De Standaad revealed on Wednesday. This is explained by the decrease of people dying on the roads, among other things, which in itself is a positive thing.
“Lots of donors were young victims, while today’s donors are most often stroke victims”, explains Marc Van der Vennet, the transplant coordinator at Ghent university hospital (UZ Gent).
Organs from older donors are often more fragile, especially hearts and pancreases. “But this doesn’t mean that transplants fail more often than before”, the doctor explains. “Despite donors being older, the patient’s chances of survival are similar. We also have better anti-rejection medication”, he adds.