The Deutsche Stiftung Organtransplantation (DSO) is responsible for coordinating organ donation in Germany. Our task is to promote and support organ donation and transplantation on all levels. It is our aim to provide all patients on the waiting list with a transplant as quickly as possible. By promoting organ donation, we have actively contributed to the development of transplant medicine in Germany.
The DSO was founded by the Kuratorium für Dialyse und Nierentransplantation e.V. (KfH, Trusteeship for Dialysis and Kidney Transplantation) on October 7, 1984. The DSO is an incorporated foundation according to civil law with over 1,000 staff, among them about 200 in full-time positions. After the German Transplant Law was passed in 1997, the DSO was officially assigned the role of organ procurement agency by a contract which outlined its responsibilities in coordinating the organ donation procedure.
To provide rapid local support to all German hospitals around the clock, the DSO has divided the country into seven geographical organ donor regions. Each donor region comprises one or several federal states. Organ donation in each region is organised by a regional coordinating centre headed by an executive physician of the DSO. In addition, there are one or more affiliated support offices in each region, from where the transplant coordinators organise their work in the hospitals. The DSO coordinators work directly with intensive care units reporting a potential organ donor and can be contacted to discuss a possible organ donation.
The DSO coordinates all steps involved in an organ donation procedure and provides a range of services to support hospitals around the clock. These services include the transport of organs to the transplant centres and ensure that an organ donation can be performed in any hospital. Funding for the DSO as coordinating agency is provided a prospective budget that is negociated with the health insurers and is based on the number of organs expected to be transplanted. The expenses incurred by the hospitals involved in an organ donation are reimbursed by the DSO on a per-case basis.