Record High Number of Organ Transplants Made in Israel in 2018, Report Shows

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FILE Photo: Medical staff working at Israel's Assuta Hospital.
FILE Photo: Medical staff working at Israel's Assuta Hospital.Credit: Moti Milrod

Israel saw a record number of organ transplants in 2018, the National Transplant Center has reported.

In 2018, a total of 592 transplants were performed using organs from donors who had died and live donors. That figure represents an increase of 13 percent over 2017.

Of the 592 organs that were transplanted, 334 came from deceased donors. Of those cases, 100 involved liver transplants, and 25 were heart transplants (a 44 percent increase over heart transplants from deceased donors in 2017).

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About half of organ recipients from deceased donors were given priority in the wait for a donated organ because they had signed a donation consent form, known as an Adi card, which is issued by the National Transplant Center.

Last year also saw an all-time high in the number of families who consented to the donation of loved ones’ organs. Of the 173 instances last year in which families of patients who were brain-dead were approached, 111 agreed to have the patients’ organs donated. In the four cases in which the patients’ heart had stopped beating, all of the families consented.

Among organ transplants from live donors last year, 231 were of a kidney. The kidneys of 125 of patients were donated by relatives while the other 106 were donated by non-relatives for purely altruistic reasons.

The chairman of the National Transplant Center, Prof. Rafi Beyar, said that this year cooperation with other countries is planned to further develop the field of organ transplants from live donors by cross-referencing databases to find proper matches between donors and recipients in various countries. The center also plans to increase its cooperation with the Magen David Adom emergency medical organization to promote the option of organ donation from patients whose hearts have stopped.

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