Thursday, 26 November 2020

Prague IKEM wall bears names of organ donors

3 November 2017

Prague, Nov 2 (CTK) - The names of all organ donors since 1989 have been written on a glass panel and the perimeter wall of the Institute for Clinical and Experimental Medicine (IKEM) in Prague and the remembrance site was officially unveiled on All Souls' Day on Thursday.

The first name, first letter of the surname and date of death of each donor have been written down.

IKEM director Ales Herman said it was a place of remembrance for families of the donors and a place to say thank you for the recipients of the organs.

In the past 30 years, 2652 people donated their organs to IKEM transplant programmes. This year it has been 108 donors so far.

People with irreversible brain damage are the most frequent type of donors.

At present, 1,154 people are waiting for an organ now, most often for a kidney.

One organ donor can save up to ten patients. Two kidneys or two lungs can save two people. Due to a lack of donors, liver is often divided in more parts. The heart, the small intestine, the uterus, pancreas and the pancreatic islets are transplanted as well.

The number of people waiting for organs has been growing in the Czech Republic and the waiting list includes about 1,000 names. More than five dozen people from the list die every year.

Given the lack of donors, the conditions for becoming a donor have become looser and looser. Two decades ago, most donors were aged from 19 to 50, while now over half of the donors are more than 51 years old. In 2016, IKEM took organs from 18 donors aged over 71. "These organs function well, too, and the recipients have many years of quality life thanks to them," IKEM Transplant Centre Ondrej Viklicky said.

"More than half of the cases are spontaneous brain hemorrhage. This is followed by conditions of poor blood flow to the brain such as stroke and then brain injury in accidents," said Eva Pokorna, head of the organ collection department.

According to the centre coordinating transplants in the Czech Republic, 808 transplants were performed in the country last year, most often of kidney (458), liver (179), heart (78) and lung (42). Organs were received from 262 deceased and 49 living donors.

A person must give consent for body donation. The surviving relatives of a dead donor may reject it. People may also get listed among those who reject the donation of their organs. Doctors say communication with families of potential deceased donors is the most difficult part of the transplant process.

Number of patients waiting for organs (IKEM):

Year Number of people waiting Number of people who died while waiting
2006 723 60
2007 721 69
2008 752 45
2009 803 68
2010 864 68
2011 877 70
2012 964 65
2013 1,026 85
2014 1,014 75
2015 998 69
2016 1,169 63
2017 1,154

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