Fewer organ transplants in 2014 because of lower number of lower-brain-dead donors

15 organs given since beginning of January.

A doctor stands with stethoscope in this undated handout photo. (photo credit: REUTERS)
A doctor stands with stethoscope in this undated handout photo.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Fifteen organs were transplanted in 12 operations during the first eight days of this year, following the transplant of 361 organs from deceased and live donors in 333 transplant operations in 2014, Israel Transplant announced on Sunday.
Fifty-two percent of bereaved families that were asked last year to donate organs of relatives agreed to do so .
The number of organ recipients declined by 18% compared to the figure in 2013.
In the past year, the prevalence of patients with lower-brain death, from which transplants are preferred or most successful, has declined, but nevertheless the share of families that agree to donate their organs has remained stable.
More than half of those waiting for an organ are new on the queue (some of them are waiting for a second transplant).
About 30% of those who received an organ were moved ahead in the queue because they had earlier signed an ADI donor card as a potential donor or they were close relatives of a deceased person whose organs had been donated.
Of the live donors, 531 gave a kidney.
Last year, 14 donated a lobe from their lung, compared to only four in 2009, said Israel Transplant, which has 815,000 potential donors on their rolls. A total of 28,000 more received ADI donor cards last year.
Aside from major organs, there were 656 cornea transplants; 785 were waiting for a cornea in December 2014 compared to 768 at the beginning of 2014.
The number of Israelis waiting for an organ transplant increased from 1,075 in 2013 to 1,060 in 2014. Those needing kidney transplants have the longest wait, with 849 in the queue, followed by liver (146), heart (73), lung (79), heart/ lung (four) and kidney/pancreas (18).
There was an increase in altruistic donors (non-relatives who don’t need an organ themselves, giving to someone they don’t know), from 33 in 2013 to 74 last year, and a decline of donations within a family, from 103 to 88.
A group of Arab MKs headed by Dr.
MK Afo Agbaria organized a publicity campaign among Arab hospital staffers last year, at schools and on Arabic websites, to promote organ donation in the minority community.
On Wednesday, there will be a conference on organ donation and solidarity among religions in Nazareth in cooperation with an Israeli international Christian organization and many Christians, Muslims and Jews scheduled to attend.
The Health Ministry, in its monitoring of transplant activities, found that only 1% of relatives of potential donors (i.e., people who suffered brain death) were unable to be identified, contacted and asked for permission in time for an operation.
An average of 4.1 organs were taken from each donor, compared to 3.7 in other Western countries.
Of the donations since January 1, four families agreed to donate the organs of their relatives after they suffered death of the lower brain. Donated organs were “harvested” at Carmel, Meir, Rambam and Sourasky medical centers. The organs were two lungs from each of three patients; three livers from three patients and six kidneys.