Tissue Medicine is More Than Tissue Donation
The mission of the DGFG involve more than the organization of tissue donation. The DGFG is dedicated to providing patients with safe and durable, high-quality tissue transplants. This includes the continuous expansion of our nationwide tissue network. Only together with regional partners can we advance tissue medicine for the benefit of the patients. We promote new developments in tissue processing and support research and science directed towards tissue transplantation. We want both the hospitals and the public to be informed on all aspects of tissue donation. We see ourselves as a service for all aspects of tissue medicine.
Organ and tissue donation are two separate areas of transplantation medicine, which are nevertheless closely related. Many tissue donations are taken from organ donors, in which a clause for tissue donation is present. Therefore, we also fully support organ donation within a transparent and predictable system. We work closely with the German Organ Transplantation Foundation (DSO).
Our Vision Determines Our Mission
The DGFG is represented in all regions of Germany. We coordinate individually in consultations with our regional partners the entire process of tissue donation. These include:
- Working with donor notifications
- Information of donors and bereaved family members
- Donor risk assessment
- Specialized tissue recovery
- Organization of transport of tissue to the tissue bank
- All documentation required by law
In Germany, under the Drug Law, tissue preparations are subject to extensive approval and safety regulations. Our tasks include the handling of tissue prior to transplantation. The DGFG operates with four own tissue banks in Hanover, Rostock, Schwerin and Kiel. We also offer tissue banks from our network, with different models of cooperation. We support hospitals individually in building and operating tissue banks. Our QM provides SOPs to take care of official permits and forms. Tissue banks in our network guarantee maximum transplant safety and quality: The only way to protect the recipients continuously and to prevent errors.
Tissue Allocation and Transplantation
The DGFG allocates human donor tissue that is to be transplanted in hospitals throughout all of Germany. All preparations are made solely for transplantation in humans. The allocation office of the DGFG has an inventory database for corneas, heart valves, blood vessels and amniotic membrane. Each inpatient or outpatient transplant center may register their patients with the DGFG for a tissue transplant. Doctors do not have to request tissue from individual tissue banks. They get planning security and quality and safe tissue preparations for their patients.
Research and Development
New techniques of processing and transplanting tissue will certainly develop over the next few years. The successes in tissue engineering and the promising results from research open up formerly unimagined possibilities in the area of tissue medicine. Although there is still a long way to go before we can transplant lab grown organs and tissues, this is certainly one of the challenges we will face in the future. The focuses of the DGFG on this are:
- Establishing new scientific/technological processes
- Supporting and conducting studies and research with external partners
- Organizing workshops for scientific exchange
- Cooperating with international partners
The work of the DGFG includes informing people about the issues of tissue donation transparently and fully. We work with the BZgA (Federal Center for Health Education) and our partners to inform the public, specialists and those affected by tissue donations and transplantations. With the proper information, we believe we can educate the public, promote a willingness for donation, and promote the work of our partners. We are clearly committed to showing the ownership structures of the organizations we work with.