Join the Swedish National Donor Register
The Swedish National Donor Register
Click here to join the Swedish National Donor Register. Here you can also check, change, or delete your registration. Your most recent registration in the Swedish National Donor Register applies.
Many people possess a donor card that specifies their preferences regarding donation. But to be absolutely certain that your decision come to the attention of healthcare personnel, you should join the register, and also inform your family/relatives of your decision.
The Swedish National Donor Register is automatically updated twice a year based on data from the Swedish Tax Agency's Population Register. This means that if you change your name or address, you do not need to update your information.
Children older than 15 years can themselves join the Swedish National Donor Register. Children younger than 15 years must be registered by their parents or guardians.
All data contained in the Swedish National Donor Register are confidential, and the rules who can access the data are restrictive. For this reason, the National Board of Health and Welfare cannot disclose infor-mation about your registration in the Swedish National Donor Register over the telephone or via e-mail. You can check your information yourself in the Swedish National Donor Register by logging in using BankID verification.
Donation and transplantation save lives
Transplantation of organs and tissues is a life-saving treatment for many seriously ill people. For others, transplants can significantly improve health and quality of life.
In Sweden, more than 800 organs and 1,300 tissues are transplanted every year. The organs transplanted are kidney, liver, lung, heart, pancreas and small intestine. Kidneys and, in a very few cases, part of the liver can also be donated from living donors.
The most commonly transplanted tissues are skin, heart valves, bone tissue and corneas. A cornea from a deceased person can improve the vision of as many as five people.
However, for transplantations to take place people must be willing to donate their organs and tissues after their death. The need for organs and tissues is greater than the supply. Every year, 30 to 50 people die while waiting for an organ transplant.
Organ and tissue donation
According to Swedish law, a person is dead when all brain functions have completely and irreversibly ceased, known as brain death. Of the approximately 90,000 people who die in Sweden each year, only a few hundred die under the circumstances that allow organ donation.
To be able to donate your organs, you must die while receiving intensive care treatment. Death has to be determined according to specific criteria. This means that healthcare professionals carry out a number of examinations that verify brain death. The donor is kept on a ventilator to keep the organs oxygenated and functioning until the donation surgery. This donation procedure, in which death occurs after a severe and sudden brain injury, is the one usually applied in Sweden. This donation procedure is called DBD (Donation after Brain Death).
An additional donation procedure is now being implemented in Sweden – donation when death occurs following circulatory arrest. This means that total brain death has occurred because the heart has stopped beating. The introduction of this donation procedure enables more people to donate organs after their death. This procedure is called DCD (Donation after Circulatory Death) and is implemented in many countries.
Unlike organ donation, tissue donation is possible also when death occurs outside an intensive care unit, as tissues do not need to be supplied with oxygenated blood when they are being procured.
The donation procedure
Healthcare professionals do everything they can to save lives. It is only when a life cannot be saved, and life support treatment no longer helps the patient, that the question of donation arises. A qualified healthcare professional checks if the patient has made a registration in the Swedish National Donor Register, and talks to family members/relatives to determine the patient’s will.
Once the patient is declared dead, and there is a positive donation will, donation surgery of organs and tissues can start. This is carried out with the utmost respect for the deceased. The surgical procedure is similar to normal surgery.
After donation surgery, the body of the deceased is prepared in the usual way, and relatives are given the opportunity to say their last farewells. The donation procedure does not affect the funeral in any way.
Although only a few people will actually be able to donate organs, anyone can join the Swedish National Donor Register, regardless of age, illness and lifestyle.