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Switzerland’s five organ donation networks

Switzerland is divided into five organ donation networks. Together with their affiliated hospitals, the networks ensure the tasks and processes of organ donation, from detection to removal and transfer (transport) of organs. They act in accordance with federal and cantonal legal provisions. The networks are organized autonomously and adapt their work to regional specificities. With regard to structures, the networks follow their own internal hospital guidelines. With regard to structures and processes across Switzerland (e.g. minimum standards), the network heads ensure the implementation of joint decisions and agreed measures within their own network (including affiliated hospitals).

Which are the organ donation networks?

Network management

The network heads (technical and organizational) lead the networks and coordinate all processes in organ donation at the local level. The network heads ensure a sensible division of duties between central hospitals and peripheral hospitals. They are likewise responsible for the optimum use of resources.

Network coordination

The network coordinators support the network heads in the operational implementation. They are the first point of contact for local coordinators when it comes to questions and concerns. They also support local coordinators in the implementation of tasks.

Local coordination

The task of local coordinators at a hospital with an intensive care unit and without a transplantation centre is to ensure all processes in the areas of donor recognition, caring for donors and their next of kin, and donor management.

Tasks of organ donation networks

In Switzerland, the five organ donation networks provide support to hospitals at the local level. Their tasks related to organ donation are the following:

  • Identifying potential donors
  • Taking care of families and next of kin
  • 24-hour hotline service
  • Recording of services provided, data verification and implementation of quality controls
  • Training and further education of medical professionals
  • Allocation of tasks between central and peripheral hospitals
  • Optimal use of resources