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August 2, 2011

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Organ transplants detailed for Shanghai

THE list of local hospitals allowed to do transplants and the allowable organs in each hospital were announced yesterday by the Shanghai Health Bureau under a pilot scheme aimed at allowing people to donate their organs.

A total of 10 hospitals are allowed to carry out transplants of the heart, kidney, liver and lung under the national program launched by the Ministry of Health to increase the number of transplants that can be carried out and regulate organ-donation procedures.

Details such as donor registration will be announced by the ministry later, said officials from the Shanghai Health Bureau.

The program allows the organs of people who die of "cardiac death" to be used in transplants if the person has registered as a donor and their family agrees, or the family decides to donate the organs.

Shanghai currently permits body donations only for medical research and teaching, with just corneas used for transplants. Doctors welcomed the new trial program, saying it can increase the number of organ transplants and streamline the system.

"The trial even allows a new therapy – pediatric heart transplant, which is never done in China's mainland, though it is a mature technology and has been launched in the West in the 80s," said Dr Xu Zhiwei of the Shanghai Children's Medical Center, which is approved for heart transplants under the trial system.

He said about 5 to 10 percent of children with congenital heart disease can't be fixed through traditional surgery. "Heart transplant would be the only hope for such patients," he said.

Liu Zhongmin, president of the Shanghai East Hospital, which will be allowed to do heart, lung and kidney transplants, said the program will broaden the source of organs.

"People with accidents can be major sources of such organs, solving a severe shortage," Liu said.

There are about 1.5 million Chinese patients waiting for organ transplants every year, but only about 10,000 transplants take place.




 

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