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Andrej Gadžijev, MD.

Andrej Gadžijev is a specialist in traumatology with many years of experience in the field of donor medicine. He graduated from the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Ljubljana in 2000 and specialised in traumatology with distinction in 2009. From 2010 to 2017, he was the head of the Intensive Care Unit in the Department of Traumatology at UMC Ljubljana. In early 2022, he was appointed Director of the Institute for Transplantation of Organs and Tissues of the Republic of Slovenia Slovenia-transplant and is responsible for overseeing the national donation and transplantation programme, coordinating donor and transplantation activities at the national and international level, developing these activities in Slovenia, and promoting and supporting the programme at the national level. He continues to work part-time as a trauma specialist in the Department of Traumatology at UMC Ljubljana.

He joined the team of central transplant coordinators under the auspices of Slovenija-transplant in 2002, before starting his residency in traumatology. He held this position until 2013, when he became a mentor of the transplant coordinators and was later appointed as responsible physician for the donor programme in Slovenia in accordance with Directive 2010/53/EU, together with the then director Danica Avsec, MD. In 2010, he was awarded the Certificate of European Transplant Coordination (CETC) within the UEMS Surgery, which is a condition for the function of the responsible physician for the donor programme in Slovenia. In this role, he is responsible for medical evaluation of deceased donors, evaluation of organs for transplantation in accordance with safety and transparency guidelines, monitoring of SAE /SAR, training of transplant coordinators, consultation and monitoring of donor and transplant centres, and interpersonal communication and communication with relatives of deceased donors. In 2012, he became project manager of the Quality Assurance Programme at Slovenija-transplant and lead auditor of donor activities in the national donor network of 11 donor hospitals.

Dr. Gadžijev is a member of numerous Slovenian and international professional associations. Within the Eurotransplant international foundation for organ exchange, of which Slovenia has been a member since 2000, he is a member of the Eurotransplant Registry Advisory Committee (ERAC) and the Organ Process Chain Committee (OPCC). At the national level, he is a member of the Expert Advisory Committee for Transplantation at the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Slovenia. From 2017 to 2021, he was a member of the Medical Affairs Committee at the Medical Chamber of Slovenia.

As an invited speaker, Dr. Gadžijev participates in professional meetings and congresses in Slovenia and abroad. He regularly lectures at educational courses for Slovenian transplant coordinators (TPM) and educational courses for the general professional public (ETPOD). Internationally, he is a member of the TPM faculty led by the Spanish foundation DTI-TPM and holds lectures for future transplant coordinators worldwide. He actively contributes to raising public awareness of this specific medical topic.

Hospital transplant coordinators

In every donor centre, there is a hospital transplant coordinator, who closely cooperates with central transplant coordinators and Slovenia Transplant.

Hospital transplant coordinators are experienced physicians, who perform this function alongside their regular work in the donor hospital. When a patient has been definitively diagnosed as brain dead, hospital transplant coordinators discuss the possibility of organ and tissue donation with the deceased person’s closest relatives or friends and obtain their consent to donation or refusal. They provide psychological support to the family and friends and are available for possible questions regarding further donation procedures.

List of hospital transplant coordinators, appointed by decision of the Minister of Health of RS (status on 1 April 2020):

  • University Medical Centre Ljubljana: Rade Stanić MD, MSc
  • University Medical Centre Maribor: Tanja Kuprivec MD
  • General Hospital Celje: Barbara Hudournik MD
  • General Hospital Murska Sobota: Daniel Grabar MD
  • General Hospital Nova Gorica: Edyta Čerkini MD
  • Deputy: Gregor Budihna MD
  • General Hospital Izola: Damjan Polh MD
  • General Hospital Ptuj: Mateja Prevolšek MD
  • General Hospital Jesenice: Andraž Nastran MD
  • General Hospital Novo mesto: Matej Godnič MD
  • General Hospital Slovenj Gradec: Rok Popič MD
  • Deputy: Jasna Uranjek MD, PhD
  • General Hospital Brežice: Nataša Pirc MD
  • Deputy: Matic Žvar MD

Central transplant coordinators

Central transplant coordinators play a key role in the process of deceased donor organ and tissue donation and transplantation in Slovenia and in the Eurotransplant region. They actively participate in the organisation of teams and transport, and coordinate the procedures and teams involved. By supervising the process, they ensure traceability of organs and tissues from donor to recipient. Two central transplant coordinators are on call 24 hours a day 7 days a week.

The central transplant coordinator team is composed of young, dynamic healthcare professionals and other staff who are specially qualified to perform their functions.

National team for brain-death determination

1. The committee for brain death determination consists of two physicians working independently of each other. One is a specialist in anaesthesia, internal medicine, or paediatrics working in the field of intensive care medicine, with experience in the treatment of patients with severe brain injury. The second team member is a specialist in neurology, neurosurgery or other relevant field, with experience in intensive care medicine and treatment of severe brain injuries. The team is assisted by a third physician who performs an ancillary instrumental investigation for the confirmation of brain death.

2. The mobile team for brain death assessment using electroencephalography (EEG) is made up of staff members of the Division of Neurology, University Medical Centre Ljubljana, who carry out the EEG examination in those donor hospitals that do not have the necessary equipment or staff for this investigation.