People over age 70 have traditionally been considered “too old” to donate
transplant organs when alive or deceased – but no longer.
Transplant Center announced on Thursday that during the past week, eight
patients underwent successful surgery to receive organs from people aged 70 to
80 and are recovering nicely.
The family of a 73-year-old man who died
donated his two lungs (transplanted into one patient), a liver and two
One lung, a liver and two kidneys were given by the family of a
Israel Transplant reported that since January, eight
elderly people, some of whom are over 75 and nearing 80, were the source of
life-saving organs. Due to the severe shortage of Transplant organs, many
countries such as Italy and Germany have been utilizing organs from people up to
the age of 80 and transplanting them into people of similar ages who needed
Dr. Tamar Ashkenazi, director of Israel Transplant, said that the
ages of the donor and of the would-be recipient are taken into account. Improved
technological equipment, including scanners, allow for more exact examination of
organs for transplant that in the past were rejected.
In addition, many
Israeli who reach their ninth decade are in good health – better than people
their age were a few decades ago. With more awareness of healthy lifestyles,
exercise and nutrition and improved medical care, their bodies are in good
enough shape for them to be organ donors because their biological age is
“younger” than their chronological age.
Ashkenazi said it was important
for the public to know about the possibility of giving organs even at an
“There are people older than 60 who believe they would not
be considered for giving,” she said. “This is the opportunity to tell them that
they can live a long life and still eventually give life-saving organs.”