All-time high for organ transplantation in 2017

1,138 Israelis still waiting for organ donations.

Hands holding green organ transplant awareness ribbon (illustrative). (photo credit: INGIMAGE)
Hands holding green organ transplant awareness ribbon (illustrative).
(photo credit: INGIMAGE)
Last year saw an all-time high of transplants in Israel, the National Organ Transplantation Center, Israel Transplant said.
There was a total of 520 organ transplants from living and deceased donors. About 62%, or 96 out of 156 families of deceased potential organ donors, agreed to donate. This is an increase of 35% from 2016.
There were 285 transplant operations from deceased donors, 222 kidney transplants from live donors and 137 kidney transplants from deceased donors.
In addition to donated hearts, lungs, kidneys and pancreases, there were also 859 corneal transplants – an increase in 2017 of 18% from the previous year. A total of 923 people are still waiting for a healthy cornea.
Thirty-five patients with severe burns received donated skin.
Thirty-seven percent of organ recipients were moved ahead in the queue because they had previously registered with ADI/ Israel Transplant as potential donors themselves. A total of 924,000 Israels are registered with ADI as potential organ donors, 37,000 of them registered last year.
Regarding kidneys from live donors,113 came from relatives of recipients, while 109 came from unrelated altruistic donors.
In addition to liver donations from deceased donors, 13 people donated a lobe of their liver, which grows back quickly, to a relative in need. A total of 155 bones and ligaments were transplanted, as were 55 heart valves.
There are still 1,138 Israelis waiting for an organ donation, which is slightly higher than the 1,116 who were waiting a year ago.
Israel Transplant chairman Prof. Rafael Beyar, who is also director-general of Haifa’s Rambam Medical Center, said on Monday: “This year we signed an agreement with Cyprus for cooperation in kidney transplants from live donors, among couples that were not matched.
“We hope that in the coming months, we will be able to carry out the first cross-border crossing.
This program will be suited to people with high levels of antibodies, since there is a high probability of finding a match with people of different ethnic origins,” he said.
Dr. Tamar Ashkenazi, National Organ Transplant Center director, said with satisfaction that she was proud of the record figures, “which attests that in a crisis, the public show their commitment and mutual responsibility, rise above daily arguments and differences of opinion and try to save lives.”