Lung transplantation: The blood type as well as the weight and size ratio between the donor and the recipient play an important role
Lung transplantation is an established method in the treatment of advanced lung diseases. Patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, pulmonary fibrosis, cystic fibrosis and other diagnoses are the most common candidates for lung transplantation. Approximately 150 patients from all over the Czech Republic are examined annually, and about 50% of them are included in the waiting list, with approximately 40 transplants being performed annually. Lung transplantation is one of the youngest surgeries of this type in medicine. The first one in history was performed in the USA by James Hardy in 1963. In the Czech Republic, the first lung transplantation wa performed on December 22, 1997 by a team of Professor Pavel Pafek from the Motol University Hospital in Prague.
It's performed only at the Motol University Hospital
Lung transplantation has been performed in the Czech Republic since 1997 in one single place - in the transplant center of the Motol University Hospital in Prague. Josef Moravec, aged 41 at the time of surgery, became the first patient to undergo it after several years of intense preparation. He was in the final stages of an inflammatory disease of the alveoli, and in danger of respiratory failure. The donor was a 26-year-old man whose life couldn't have been saved after a head shot. Moravec lived with his new lung for six years. He became the fourth Czech citizen to have had this operation. The first three had undergone it in Vienna.
A year later, Pafka's team performed the first transplant of both lungs. The recipient was a 46-year-old woman who lived for another six years. Lung transplantation is one of the most demanding medical procedures.
How to get on the waiting list
A candidate for an organ transplant is a patient who has been placed on a waiting list (National Register of Persons). The list contains identification and medical data that need to be updated. The selection of the most suitable recipients is based on a match in blood type, laboratory results and the weight and size ratio between the donor and the recipient. The urgency of the transplantation is also taken into account, i.e. the patient suffers from irreversible organ failure which does not respond to treatment and this condition cannot be addressed by other means than transplantation.
Only a specialist doctor in cooperation with the regional transplant center can add a candidate on the waiting list, naturally with the patient's consent.
Strict ethical rules apply to organ donations
According to the law, the principle of presumed consent applies in the Czech Republic - anyone can become a potential organ donor after death. The exceptions are persons who have expressed a clear written disagreement with becoming a donor during their lifetime. A deceased donor, provided he has not expressed disagreement, is a patient in whom brain death was diagnosed, i.e. irreversible loss of whole brain function.
A person related or non-related to the recipient who has voluntarily decided to donate the organ can become a living organ donor.
Strict ethical rules apply to organ donations. If the case of organ donation to a relative, the donor expresses his or her free and informed consent in the prescribed manner. In the case of organ donation to a non-relative, it is necessary for the ethics committee to meet and approve the transplant. Living donor transplantation has several benefits. One of them is that both the donor and the recipient can be thoroughly examined and prepared. It is possible to schedule the operation at any time according to the patient's needs, without having to wait until a suitable organ from a deceased donor is found.
Every donor, whether living or deceased, is subjected to a thorough medical examination to minimize the potential risks associated with organ transfer.
Last year, 35 patients underwent lung transplantation
In 2020, a total of 35 patients underwent lung transplantation at the Motol University Hospital. It is the lowest number in the last 5 years. In 2019, for example, more than 47 patients received a new lung.
The number of surgeries was affected by the coronavirus
The number of surgeries performed was significantly affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
"The existence of transplant medicine is in fact fully dependent on the activity of doctors in the field of anesthesiology and intensive care. Their deployment at the time of the ongoing Covid-19 infection in the Czech Republic has been extreme and extraordinary,"
said Vladimír Černý, chairman of the Jan Evangelista Purkyně Society of Anesthesiology, Resuscitation and Intensive Care Medicine, which manages the capacities of hospitals during the epidemic.
Lots of patients are still waiting
Despite the fact that more than 6 lung transplants take place every month, there are many candidates on the waiting list who are still waiting for a suitable organ. There were a total of 45 in November last year and 49 in December.
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Our lungs, founded by a real estate agency during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, is dedicated to supporting the treatment of respiratory diseases in adults and children.
"As a donor, we have supported various charity projects in the past,"
says Elena Jakubovič, the founder of the real estate agency.
"This time we would like to give it a whole new dimension - to help Czech experts and hospitals in the long term."
And why the combination of real estate business and healthy lung care? Elena Jakubovič and her team believe that a well-chosen house or apartment is a place where you can breathe with ease. And everyone should experience this feeling.