In principle, donor hearts can be obtained from the entire Eurotransplant region, but they mainly originate in the Netherlands.
For donor hearts, a distinction is made between two types of donors:
- Organ donors are recently deceased donors whose organs (including the heart) can still be retrieved for donation. If, for any reason, it turns out the heart is unsuitable for organ donation, in many cases the valves can be used for transplantation.
- Tissue donors are those who have been deceased for some time and can therefore only donate tissues. The cause of death can be one from a wide range of causes (except those constituting a contraindication).
The Netherlands Transplantation Foundation (NTS) reviews the consent granted for tissue donation and assesses the donor’s suitability.