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New plan guides organ donation and transplant

SHANGHAI is working on a detailed local plan under a national pilot program to better manage organ donations, prevent illegal organ sales and make sure organs are given the patients most in need of the transplant, said Shanghai Red Cross today.

The new plan will order all hospitals to report their patients and demands for organs to the local Red Cross, which score patients publicly to guide organ distribution.

Currently, organ distribution is mainly run by hospitals, which provide tranplant service and get organs through their own networks.

The program authorizes by the Red Cross Soceity of China is launched in 11 cities and provinces, each designs a new post-death organ donation system in line with local condition and cultural background. So far Tianjin, Guangdong, Liaoning and Zhejiang have started their trial.

"Though Shanghai is still in the stage of planning, we have a tight schedule to make it as perfect and feasible as possible," said Zhou Xianglan, director of volunteer department of Shanghai Red Cross. "We will officially announce the kickoff of our program and handle donor registrations after the plan is completed."

China performs the second-highest number of organ transplants in the world, following the United States. Hospitals had conducted 86,800 kidney and 14,643 liver transplants at the end of last year, along with 717 heart, 165 lung, 17 small intestine and 209 pancreas-kidney transplants.

The need is much larger. There are about 1.5 million Chinese patients waiting for organ transplants every year, but the short supply limits transplant surgeries to only about 10,000, according to official estimates.


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