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Donors requried for first heart and liver transplantations in Kazakhstan

09 november 2011, 10:43
0
Heart surgery in Kazakhstan. ©Roza Yessenkulova
Heart surgery in Kazakhstan. ©Roza Yessenkulova
Donors have not yet been selected for the first heart and liver transplantation surgeries in Kazakhstan, Tengrinews.kz reports. The surgeries are scheduled for November and December this year. The doctors are counting on consent of the families of dieing patients.

“The society has divided into those who support transplantology in Kazakhstan and those who are on the way to understanding it,” Director General of the National Scientific Surgery Centers Zhetkerli Arzykulov said. “It is important to make people understand that anyone can get sick. No one should take the problem of donorship as though it can never happen to them.”

120 people currently need heart transplantation in Kazakhstan and 500 patients need liver transplantation. People with non-functioning liver die in the first year, that's why, doctors say, the issue of donorship is very critical. Potential donors, according to Arzykulov, are the ones with “brain death” diagnosis. It is possible to save other people, when the patient cannot be saved and his organs are healthy.

Answering the question whether transplantology may become another source for corruption in medical institutions and how a person can be sure that doctors are not interested in his death rather than his health, the speakers said that the process is sufficiently controlled.

“How can a person be confident that the doctors will actually fight for his life? “Brain death” is decided upon not by one doctor alone, but by a whole board of best doctors,” head of transplantology and tissues department of Syzganov National Surgery Center Enver Sultanov said. “The doctors scheduling and making transplantations and the doctors treating dieing patients are different dictors and they are not supposed to interact and communicate with each other. All surgeries are made free of charge, which means that the state covers all the expenses on transplantation. There are different doctors, there are dishonest doctors even in Europe. We have trained 50 doctors in Belarus and they are all ready to make transplantations. We are confident in them,” the doctor said.

He also reminded of the implied consent principle existing in Kazakhstan,neaning that every Kazakh citizen is automatically a donor, unless he or she makes special arrangements not to be one. Every Kazakhstan citizen may insure himself from extraction of his or her organs in case of an accident causing “brain death”. To do so a notarized special document is required. “However, if the family is against extraction of organs, we don't take them. Liver lives only for 6 hours after a person's death and kidney lives for 24 hours. The decision has to be made in mere minutes and only 20 minutes is given for organ extraction,” Sultanov said. “The issue of liver and heart transplantation is very critical, as there is still no device invented for life sustainment. The life of the patients with bad kidney can be prolonged on dialysis.”

Earlier Tengrinews.kz English reported that doctors of Syzganov National Scientific Surgery Center called the residents to help develop transplantology in Kazakhstan: families of dieing patients are almost always against organs extraction. According to the doctors, it is better to 'share' organs, as it can save lives of many people.

By Roza Yessenkulova

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