Record numbers of organ transplants in 2016

Live donors now constitute two-fifths of the number of transplants, so much so that there are queues for potential donors waiting for surgery.

January 8, 2017 16:55
1 minute read.
Doctor and patient

Doctor and patient (illustrative).. (photo credit: INGIMAGE)


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Israel Transplant has marked record numbers in 2016 – for the rate of families willing to donate their loved ones’ organs, the number of organs donated, kidneys given by altruistic live doors, cornea transplants, and serious burns treated with skin donations.

Sixty-one percent of families of persons who suffered lower-brain death agreed to donate their organs, Transplant director Dr. Tamar Ashkenazi said on Sunday. A total of 504 transplants from deceased and live donors were performed last year. The number of transplants from deceased donors rose 12% to 204.

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Live donors donated 222 kidneys – an impressive increase of 27% from 2015; these included donations from 93 relatives, and 129 from altruistic donors who did not know the recipients. A total of 707 corneas were donated, a small rise, while 73 cases of severe burns were treated with skin from deceased donors.

There were 131 bone and tendon transplants last year and 61 heart valve transplants.

Of the 140 families of brain-dead people who were asked to donate, 85 consented, said Ashkenazi. In addition, 32% of people who received organs from deceased donors were bumped ahead in receiving an organ because they had signed an ADI donor card before.

However, there were only 27,000 new signatories for ADI cards in 2016 compared to 44,000 in 2015, making a current total of 788,000 Israelis who have done so.

Israel Transplant chairman Prof. Rafael Beyar thanks all the families who were noble enough to donate their loved ones’ organs at a most difficult time to save the lives of others. Doctors and nurses involved in transplantation were very busy in 2016, he added, and the statistics speak for themselves. But the queues of patients who need organs remain long, he said.


“We see a direct connection between willingness to sign an ADI card and of families to actually donate organs,” said Beyar, who is director-general of Haifa’s Rambam Medical Center.

Live donors now constitute two-fifths of the number of transplants, so much so that there are queues for potential donors waiting for surgery.

Of all the transplants, 109 were kidneys, 10 pancreases plus kidneys, two pancreases, 66 whole livers and five liver lobes, five livers plus kidneys, 21 hearts, one heart/lung, 26 pairs of lungs and 23 single lungs.

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