HMC to Set-Up Heart and Lung Transplant Surgeries

In a remarkable move, Hamad Medical Corporation’s organ transplant programme will introduce heart and lung transplant in the country, likely by the end of this year.
With the support of the government, experts at Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) have taken steps to introduce the new organ transplant programme, Dr Yousuf Al Maslamani, Medical Director, Hamad General Hospital (HGH) told The Peninsula.

“The government is supporting us to go forward with heart and lung transplant. We already had meetings within HMC regarding the programme. We have visited international centres which have lung and heart transplants. We are in the process of evaluating to find, which centres we should engage with,” said Dr Al Maslamani, who is also Director of the Center for Organ Transplantation.

A heart and lung transplant is a major operation to replace a person’s diseased heart and lungs with those from a donor. It is offered to people with both heart and lung failure when all other treatment options have failed.

Dr Al Maslamani acknowledged that there is a requirement for heart and lung transplant programme in the country. He said that the programme will reduce people travelling abroad for a transplant and it will also help in follow up and give the emotional comfort to both the patient and family.

In 2019, HGH had reported 57 brain death cases and only 12 organ donations had taken place from these deceased people. However, HMC’s commitment to the Doha Donation Accord has seen the number of registered donors increase significantly over the last six years from 2,000 to more than 400,000.

“Transplant programme is a community programme, the hospital provides service, technology doctors and nurses but donors and patients are from the community. Donation is the only solution for organ failure and if the public is not engaged it will not be able to reach the goals,” said Dr Al Maslamani. He advocates for ‘Donate for yourself’.

An organ transplant can be a life-saving procedure. It can also significantly improve the quality of life for someone with chronic organ failure. A deceased organ donor can save up to eight lives. It is also possible to donate a kidney or part of the liver while alive. Currently, Qatar offers kidney and liver transplantation programmes.

The organ donor registry is a national, confidential list of individuals who have agreed to donate their organs after their death. It can be quickly accessed in the event of a death to see whether an individual has registered their willingness to be an organ donor. Qatar has a single waiting list for organ transplantation with unbiased access to transplant services, irrespective of nationality.

“This feature is distinct to Qatar and differentiates the program from that of neighbouring countries,” said Dr Al Maslamani.

Source: The Peninsula

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