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Organ donations, transplants in Italy register second-highest level ever in 2018

19 Feb 2019, 00:02 ( 3 Months ago)

DF-Xinhua Report
File Photo Xinhua.

Organ donations and transplantations in Italy showed the second-highest level ever in 2018, the National Transplant Center (CNT) stated on Monday.

   The country registered 3,718 transplants and 1,680 donors (including living and dead) last year, according to statistics from the CNT.

   Although slightly below the peak registered in 2017 -- 3,950 transplants and 1,763 donors -- such figures confirmed a boosting trend that saw donations rise by 24.4 percent between 2014 and 2018, researchers stressed.

   The number of donors in 2018 was also the country's second highest ever, after that of the previous year.

   The latest data were unveiled by the CNT -- a body of the Health Ministry -- on occasion of the 20th anniversary of the Italian National Transplant Network, which was introduced in 1999.

   More specifically, the CNT said public hospitals in 2018 performed 2,117 kidney transplants (including 287 from living donors), 1,245 liver transplants (86 from living), 233 heart transplants, and 143 lung transplants.

   Preliminary data on tissue transplants showed the number of surgeries decreased by 1.4 percent to 16,468 in 2018 against 2017.

   "The Transplant Center in Turin (Piedmont region) performed the highest number of surgeries, before Padua, Pisa, Bologna, Verona, and Milan Niguarda," the CNT said in a statement.

   A moderate improvement was seen in the number of patients in waiting list, which dropped to 8,713 on Dec. 31, 2018 from 8,743 on the same date of the previous year.

   This was the third annual decrease in a row, the CNT noted, adding that kidney transplants led this positive trend with a 5.9 percent drop in the number of waiting patients between 2015 and 2018.

   Despite the progresses, public health authorities warned a wide gap still existed in the way donations and transplants were distributed across the country.

   "An analysis of regional data shows once again the picture of a two-speed country," the CNT said.

   "The volume of activity in northern and central regions is still much higher than that in the south."

   Central Tuscany region registered 46.8 donors per million of population, the highest organ donor rate in Italy, and one of the highest among the European regions.

   Finally, the CNT reported "extremely positive data regarding the transplant quality indexes."

   "For example, some 97.3 percent of kidney transplant recipients survived one year after surgery, while 93 percent were able to go back to work after transplantation, or were in a position to do so," it said.