Important Dates


DATE

EVENT

1823

German surgeon Carl Bunger performed plastic surgery on woman's nose, grafting skin from her thigh. (First reliable report of transplant surgery.)

1863

French physiologist Paul Bert demonstrated that tissues transplanted from one person to another are rejected.

Early 20 th century

French surgeon Alexis Carrel and American physiologist Charles Guthrie developed surgical techniques needed for performing transplants, but rejection remained a problem.

1906

First corneal transplant by Austrian ophthalmologist, Dr. Edward Zim.

1908

First skin allograft by Swiss surgeon Jacques Louis Reverdin.

1918

First blood transfusion.

1954

First successful living-related kidney transplant from identical twins performed by Dr. Joseph Murray & Dr. David Hume in Boston, MA. The recipient had normal kidney function for 8 years.

1955

Initial fresh heart valve allograft put into descending aorta.

1958

French immunologist Jean-Baptiste-Gabriel-Joachim Dausset discovered histocompatibility system for tissue matching.

1962

First fresh heart valves implanted into cardiac position.

1962

First successful cadaveric kidney transplant by Dr. Joseph Murray and Dr. David Hume in Boston, MA. The recipient had normal kidney function for 21 months.

1963

First liver transplant performed by Dr. Thomas Starzl.

1963

First lung transplant performed by Dr. James Hardy at the University of Mississippi Medical Centre, Jackson, MS.

1967

First heart transplant performed by Dr. Christiaan Barnard at Groote Schuur Hospital, South Africa. The recipient had normal heart function for 18 days.

1967

First successful pancreas transplant performed by Dr. Richard Lillehei at Minnesota University.

1968

Brain death criteria created.

1968

America - The Uniform Anatomical Gift Act Legislation allows gifts of organs to others.

1971

Frozen heart valves used in allograft.

1971

Introduction of cryopreserved human skin allografts.

1972

Swiss biochemist Jean Borel discovered remarkable immunosuppression properties of cyclosporine.

1979

Living related pancreas transplanted, Minneapolis, MN.

1981

First heart and lung transplant performed by Dr. Norman Shumway at Stanford University Medical Centre, Stanford, CA.

1983

Approval of cyclosporine, the most successful anti-rejection medication developed to date.

1984

First heart and liver transplant performed by Dr. Starzl at the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh.

1989

First liver transplant from a living related donor.

1990

Lung transplantation attempted as cure for cystic fibrosis.

1990

Dr. Joseph Murray (performed first kidney transplant) awarded Nobel Prize for Medicine.

1990

Dr. Thomas (pioneered bone marrow transplant as cure for leukaemia) awarded Nobel Prize.

1990

First successful heart related lung transplant.

1991

First attempt at partial lung transplant.

1991

First successful small intestine transplant.

1996

U.S. Surgeons at Barnes Hospital in St. Louis, University of California, San Francisco, and Stanford University Hospital perform split-liver transplant.

1998

First successful hand transplant led by Australian Dr. Earl Owen and Frenchman Dr. Jean-Michel Dubernard in a 13-hour long operation in Lyon, France.

2005

First successful partial face transplant led by Dr. Bernard Devauchelle and Dr. Jean-Michel Dubernard in Amiens, France.

2008

Dr. Michael DeBakey, the world-famous cardiovascular surgeon who pioneered such now-common procedures as bypass surgery and invented a host of devices to help heart patients, died on July 11, at the age of 99.

2010

The world’s first full face transplant took place in Spain. The recipient was a man injured in a shooting accident. In July, the recipient who was only identified as Oscar (age 31), spoke with considerable difficulty at a news conference at Barcelona's Vall d'Hebron hospital, where he was operated on in late March.

Register as an Organ Donor

Our Sponsors
WHAT SHOULD I DO IN THE EVENT OF MY LOVED ONES DEATH?

Please contact the Organ Donor Foundation on:
0800 22 66 11 Toll Free line DURING OFFICE HOURS, or
082 318 4376 Emergency line AFTER HOURS.

An Organ Donor Foundation staff member will ask you to provide the following details:

  • Name of your loved one
  • Cause of death
  • Time of death
  • Age of your loved one
  • Is your loved one at a hospital or at a mortuary or undertaker?
  • The area where your loved one is situated
  • Your name, contact number and relation to the deceased

They will thereafter pass on the information provided to the nearest transplant centre or tissue bank.

IMPORTANT TO KNOW: SOLID ORGANS such as the heart, lungs, liver, kidneys and pancreas can only be donated if your loved one has been diagnosed with brain death and is on a ventilator in a hospital. In this case, upon receiving your call, the Organ Donor Foundation will pass on the information to the nearest transplant centre and soon thereafter a transplant coordinator will contact you.

TISSUE such as bone, skin, corneas and heart valves may be used if your loved one is either on a ventilator or has already passed away and their body is at the mortuary or undertakers. In this case, a representative from the Tissue Banks or Eye Bank will be in touch with you.

THE ORGAN DONOR FOUNDATION IS NOT A MEDICAL ORGANISATION AND OFFERS THE ABOVE SERVICE TO ASSIST WITH ORGAN AND TISSUE REFERRALS ONLY. OUR STAFF MEMBERS ARE NOT TRAINED MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS.

Thank you for taking this step to ensure your loved ones wishes are honored during such a traumatic time.


NPO / PBO Numbers 003-458 NPO PBO: 18/11/13/4
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