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August 24, 2013

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Home » Metro » Health and Science

Voluntary organ donor a first for city

Shanghai’s first voluntary organ donation after death was carried out at the Changzheng Hospital in the wee hours of Wednesday, the Shanghai Red Cross announced yesterday.

A 54-year-old local man donated both his kidneys and liver to three patients in the city. All the transplants were successful and recipients are in stable condition, the agency said.

The city has been a participant in the national organ distribution and sharing network since 2010. It is run by the Red Cross Society of China which has been experimenting with it in 16 regions since March 2010 as the country attempts to gradually phase out its reliance on organs from executed prisoners.

The donor, Huang Shengwei, a resident of Chongming County, was troubled by severe headache on Sunday and rushed to Xinhua Hospital’s Chongming branch. Doctors said he had serious bleeding in the brain.

After Huang’s family learnt that the condition was irreversible, they agreed to donate one of Huang’s kidney to his son, who has been undergoing treatment for chronic kidney problem at the Changzheng Hospital for two years.

Kidneys did not match

Huang had always wanted to donate his kidney to his son, who never quite agreed to it.

Specialists from the Shanghai Organ Donation Office reached the hospital on Tuesday morning but they found that Huang’s kidneys did not match with his son. The family then agreed to donate both Huang’s kidneys and liver to others.

Huang was moved to downtown Changzheng Hospital on Tuesday evening under the watchful eyes of local police.

After Huang breathed his last at 11pm, doctors harvested the three organs, which was witnessed by officials from the Shanghai Red Cross.

Report about the organs was then uploaded on the nation’s unified organ distribution platform, which picked three local patients who were on the waiting list. One kidney and the liver were transplanted on patients in Changzheng Hospital while the other kidney was received by a patient in Zhongshan Hospital.

Till August 9 this year, 1,006 people have donated 2,742 organs like kidney and liver, the State Health and Family Planning Commission said.

Rise in organ donations

Voluntarily donated organs from dead citizens have risen from near zero three years ago to 23 percent today.

Under a recent organ distribution regulation, all donated organs must be put into a computerized network to ensure that those who need it the most get it. There is a waiting list for patients in need of organs.

In December last year, the Shanghai government announced a list of 17 city hospitals that have been authorized to carry out human organ collection and transplant.

Registration and consultation on organ donations can be had at 42 spots including district-based Red Cross units, medical university’s body donation centers and the 17 hospitals’ relevant departments.

China passed an organ transplant law in 2007, which has greatly strengthened supervision of organ transplants. However, the law failed to solve problems such as questionable sources, an acute shortage of organs, and illegal organ transactions. About 1.5 million people are on the waiting list for organ transplants in China each year, but only about 10,000 of them manage to get an organ.


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