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Organ transplants back to pre-pandemic levels in Hungary

After a decline during Covid, the number of organ transplants is returning to pre-pandemic levels in Hungary, health experts said in a joint statement on Tuesday.
6. December 2023 5:17

The first organ transplant, a live kidney transplant, was performed in the country in December 1962 in Szeged and the 12,000th in May this year at the Debrecen University. Out of all transplants, 9,625 were kidney, 1,277 liver, 722 heart, 196 pancreas-kidney combined and 129 were lung transplants, according to the statement.

It said that last year a total of 369 organ transplants were performed in the seven transplant centres of four Hungarian universities. Until December 1 this year, 246 kidney, 62 liver, 48 heart, 10 lung and 9 kidney-pancreas combined transplants have been conducted, the statement said.

Over the past two decades, with the exception of the pandemic period, access to organs offered by donors has significantly improved due to the technical background and tasking, Sandor Mihaly, the director of transplants at the National Blood Transfusion Service (OVSZ) said in the statement.

Hungary’s joining the international organisation Eurotransplant ten years ago has increased the access of patients with acute illness to an organ donated mostly from abroad within a lot shorter period of time, he said.

Mihaly said that as a member of Eurotransplant, Hungary can now include 39 percent more patients on a waiting list. According to OVSZ’s data, over the past decade 929 organs have been received by Hungarian patients from abroad.

Most of the patients needing organ transplant are waiting for a kidney to be donated. The average waiting time is the shortest for a liver, nine months, whereas it is 3.82 years for a kidney, according to OVSZ.

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