IKEM leads Europe in organ transplants
The Prague Institute of Clinical and Experimental Medicine (IKEM) was the largest transplant center in Europe last year. 540 organs were transplanted to 486 patients. IKEM accounts for approximately 70 percent of transplants in the Czech Republic. In total, 865 organs were operated on during the last year.
“According to available data, neither the largest center of the UK Birmingham nor centers in the north of Europe or in the neighboring countries are performing well,” said Onrej Viklicky, head of the IKEM Transplant Center on Monday.
Patients had 299 kidneys, 154 liver, 38 hearts, 41 pancreases, and one small intestine replaced.
Last year’s number of operations, which was one of the highest since the beginning of transplants in the Czech Republic, was achieved due to the highest number of deceased donors so far. There were 288 of them all over the country, and 155 of them went to IKEM. In the 1990s, according to the head of the Department of Organ Collection and Transplant Databases, IKEM Eva Pokorná, the most frequent donors were people after a head injury, such as a motorcycle accident.
The median age of deceased donors is 58. The age of patients also affects the quality of organs. According to the head of the Clinic of Transplant Surgery Jiří Froněk, for example, the liver, which doctors would divide between two patients, must be from a fully healthy and young donor.
Last year, IKEM introduced a new method that allows the use of non-quality liver for transplantation. “They are washed on a special machine for several hours to get them in better condition,” Froněk added.
Among other functions, the liver captures toxins and other inappropriate substances that are insoluble in water and cannot be eliminated by the kidneys.
The most frequent diagnosis requiring an organ transplant in the Czech Republic is for organ damage related to alcoholism.