Number of organ transplants in Poland on the increased

Zabrze, 24.01.2018. Małe pacjentki szpitala - Julia Matusiak (C), która podłączona do tzw. sztucznego serca czeka na transplantację serca od 330 dni i Lucia Lenoir (L) po transplantacji podczas konferencji prasowej dotyczącej obchodów Dnia Transplantologa, 24 bm. w Śląskim Centrum Chorób Serca w Zabrzu. (ag/awol) PAP/Andrzej Grygiel Andrzej Grygiel

After several years of stagnation, the number of organ transplants in Poland is increasing, according to the latest data from the 'Poltransplant' transplant coordination centre. In 2017, 1,531 organs were transplanted, the largest number in five years.

The year 2012 was record-breaking in Polish transplantology, when 1,546 organs were transplanted. In the following years, the number of transplants started to decrease, picking up again in 2016, when 1,469 organs were transplanted.

In 2017, renal transplants dominated, as in previous years. Last year, 1,004 kidneys were transplanted. Liver transplants took second place (349 operations), followed by heart transplants (98), simultaneous kidney and pancreas transplants (41) and lung transplants (39).

The number of transplants from living donors, which in many other countries are performed much more extensively, has remained low in Poland. In 2017, 55 kidney transplants and 24 transplants of liver fragments taken from another living person were performed.

Director of the Transplantation Institute at Warsaw Medical University Prof. Artur Kwiatkowski admits that kidney transplants from living donors are still the weak point of Polish transplantation.

"The percentage of kidney transplants from a living donor in relation to the total number of kidney transplants in Poland is only 5 percent, while in the US it is 30 percent and in the Netherlands 50 percent," Prof. Kwiatkowski told PAP.

A Polish success in terms of transplants from living donors is the introduction of crossover transplants, i.e. between two unrelated couples, which allows for better selection of organ donors and recipients.

The first crossover kidney transplantation was performed in Poland in 2017. Organs from unrelated living donors were transported between Warsaw and the northwestern city of Szczecin by plane.