Deceased-donor transplantation activities in Turkey
Ebru H. Ayvazoglu Soy1, Aydincan Akdur1, Feza Karakayali1, Gokhan Moray1, Sedat Yildirim1, Mehmet A. Haberal1.
1Transplantation, Baskent University, Ankara, Turkey
Introduction: Prompt diagnosis of brain death and increasing donation must be the main focus of all transplant centers. Maximizing the potential for organ donation also has ramifications for the national donor pool in that organs and tissues may be shared among transplant units. Here we assessed the deceased donation activities in Turkey and Baskent University.
Materials and Methods: The first deceased-donor kidney transplantation in Turkey was performed by our team on October 10, 1978, using an organ supplied by the Eurotransplant International Foundation. On June 3, 1979, the law on harvesting, storage, grafting, and transplantation of organs and tissues was enacted and just one month later on June 27 the first local deceased-donor kidney transplant was performed by our team. In 2001, the Ministry of Health established the National Coordination Center (NCC) as an umbrella organization to promote transplantation activities, especially for deceased donor organ procurement.
Results: During 43 years of solid organ transplantation history in Turkey; 40,662 kidney transplants (8754 deceased- and 31,908 living-donor); 15,207 livers (4455 deceased- and 10752 living-donor); 1111 heart; 274 lung, 197 pancreas, and 44 small bowel transplants have been performed nationwide in 82 different centers. Baskent University is one of the leading transplantation centers in Turkey. From December 1988 to January 2020, 3089 kidney transplants were performed in 4 different centers at Baskent University (2375 living-donor and 714 deceased donor), 652 liver transplants performed in 3 centers (443 living-donor and 209 deceased donor), 142 heart transplants in 3 centers, and 338 cornea transplants performed in 1 center. Baskent University Hospital Network currently contributes to the national solid organ pool; the data from January 2008 to January 2020, showed that, the number of brain-dead patients in was 153 and family consent was 49. For all brain-death cases, the rate of consent for donation was 32%. Of the 164 total grafts collected in this study period, 132 were transplanted at this center and 32 were offered to the NCC. The rate of heart and liver grafts offered to the NCC was 12.4% and 3.7%, respectively. According to the results, 18.6% of all heart grafts, 2.5% of all liver grafts, and 5.5% of all kidney grafts in Turkey are performed from donors identified by Baskent University centers. The current rate of consent for deceased donation is relatively high. The majority of these grafts were used in our center, but we also contributed to the national donor organ pool.
Conclusion: However, although transplantation activities are accelerating day by day all around our country, deceased donors are still far below the desired rates. The efforts to prompt deceased donation will hopefully lead to a larger organ pool and shorter waiting lists.
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