Coronavirus Warning to Organ Transplant Patients

Coronavirus Warning to Organ Transplant Patients
Coronavirus Warning to Organ Transplant Patients

Diseases, which can only be treated with organ and tissue transplantation, are among the major life-threatening health problems.


While the course and treatment stages of these disorders indicate an anxious process for patients, it is observed that the level of anxiety increases with the addition of a coronavirus pandemic to this picture. Although some patients experience various problems, they do not want to go to the hospital, while others stop the treatment process. This situation can lead to more serious consequences and life risks. Head of Memorial Şişli Hospital Organ Transplant Center Prof. Dr. Koray Acarlı talked about those who were curious about organ transplantation during the Covid-3 pandemic for the 9-19 November Organ Donation Week.

Organ donation is the will of a person to use some or all of his organs in the treatment of other patients after his death with his own free will. Anyone who is over the age of 18 and who is mentally stable can donate organs. Donating organs also means donating life to another person. However, organ donation is insufficient in our country. While our country struggled with the lack of organ donation on the one hand, it also tried to compensate for this deficiency with another source such as live donor organ transplantation and has been very successful in this.

There are many patients worried about transplantation during the coronavirus process

This year, compared to other years, there is a concern about coronavirus in routine organ transplants, as in the whole health sector. It is known that those who will undergo organ transplantation are considered seriously ill and transplantation is life-saving for them. However, many patients who come to the transplant stage are concerned that coronavirus will be transmitted in hospitals. On the other hand, since the issue is related to the immune system, those who have received organ transplants also wonder whether they are at greater risk due to the drugs they use. Patients who will undergo organ transplantation should know that they can be transplanted safely if necessary precautions are taken. While the Ministry of Health determines the rules to be followed, which are constantly updated, hospitals and Organ Transplant Centers maximize safety with additional measures. In this process, the recipient and donor are hospitalized by PCR and antibody tests. After a quarantine process, the tests for the coronavirus are repeated and the transplants are carried out if there is no problem at these stages. In this sense, transplants with living donors are more controlled in terms of quarantine, testing and precaution. However, considering that the disease can be transmitted with the organs taken from the cadaver, they should also be tested. It should be kept in mind that organs whose tests are not negative can be contagious.

Are patients with organ transplants at risk, do they need special precautions?

There is no data showing that those who have been transplanted are at increased risk compared to other segments of the society. The effect of the immunosuppressive drugs used in this regard is not yet known. However, unlike some drugs used to suppress the immune system (cortisone), it is seen that it is used to suppress the event in severe periods of the disease (cytokine storm).

The biggest worry is getting sick more

There are many patients who have had organ transplantation in the Covid-19 process. Patients may be more worried about coronavirus because immunosuppressive drugs are used. This is because of anxiety about getting more sick. While this is expected to be in theory, studies have shown that organ transplant patients are not considered to be more at risk. A survey was conducted among 584 patients by Memorial Şişli Hospital Organ Transplant Center. As of June, liver patients who applied to the center were asked whether they had coronavirus. Covid-584 positivity was found in only 4 of 0.7 patients, ie 19 percent. There was no patient loss in the results. The conclusion reached in studies on this subject in the world is similar.

Medicines should be used regularly and should not act without consulting a physician.

General opinion in terms of precaution is the use of masks, attention to social distance and personal hygiene measures should be applied in patients who will be transplanted or will be transplanted. However, it should be kept in mind that drug dose adjustment may be required in patients who are hospitalized due to Covid-19 infection with organ transplantation. In addition, the drugs recommended by the Organ Transplant team should be taken at the recommended time and dose. No supplementary medication should be taken without consulting the Organ Transplant team. It is extremely important for patients with or undergoing organ transplantation to use their medications correctly and as recommended, both against Covid-19 and in terms of protecting general health.

The number of organ transplants increased by 2017 percent compared to 6

According to the latest statistics reported by the World Health Organization, a total of 2018 solid organ transplants were performed in 95, including 479 thousand 34 kidneys, 74 thousand 8 liver, 311 thousand 6 heart, 475 thousand 2 lungs, 338 thousand 163 pancreas, 146 small intestine. . These numbers are the numbers of 840 member countries and represent approximately 86 percent of the world population. Although there is an increase of about 75 percent in numbers compared to 2017, this meets about 6 percent of the world's organ transplant needs.

We are the second in the world in living donor liver transplantation

The most common organ transplants in our country are liver and kidney transplants. As of 2019, 49 liver transplants in 776 liver transplant centers in our country; In 76 kidney transplant centers, 3 kidney transplants were performed. 863-75 percent of these transplants are live donor transplants. Turkey in live donor liver transplants performed per million population for many years is located in South Korea's second fiddle. Memorial Şişli Hospital has also broken new ground in organ transplantation. In addition to being the first private hospital to receive organ transplantation, it has been a source of hope for hundreds of families in both liver and kidney. It is one of the successful centers in the world lens with a 80-year survival rate of 1 percent and a 86-year 10 percent survival rate in liver transplantation. In addition, it is one of the rare centers that can transplant from 75-4 months of age, especially in pediatric patients. In pediatric patients, 5-year survival is 1 percent and 85-year survival is 10 percent.


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