Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) is making arrangements to conduct lung transplant facility in the country, disclosed a top official.
“We are in talks for lung transplant surgery, which can help patients with a disease called sarcoidosis," explained Dr Yousuf al-Maslamani, medical director of Hamad General Hospital and director of the Qatar Center for Organ Transplantation at HMC.
"Sarcoidosis is not very common but I think there are about 20 Qatari patients suffering from the disease. So, I think we should go for lung transplant,” he said.
“We have started discussions with the lung surgeons and physicians who are specialised in pulmonology. We need to study the whole issue. We also need to see how many patients are there, their age, blood groups among others,” stated Dr al-Maslamani.
“We have the facilities, and the expert surgeons to conduct the transplant.We need to focus on many things. Though the surgeons are trained, they may not have done such transplant, since coming over here. So they have to refresh. Then we have to look for other logistics needed,” explained the official.
Dr al-Maslamani, who was recently elected the vice president of the Middle East Society for Organ Transplantation, said that the culture of organ donation is evolving in a big way in Qatar. According to him, People travelling abroad for organ transplant has significantly dropped.
“We advise people not to travel abroad for transplant. It is illegal in many countries. It is not healthy because we don’t know what illnesses the donor may have. In a study on patients who have done transplants abroad, we have found that all of them have complications,” he highlighted.
“We started in 2001 and now people know very much about organ donation. I presented a paper based on a survey which we did for two years. It showed that 90% of people who we talked want to be a donor. But they didn’t have the opportunity to go and sign,” he continued.
The official said that everyone in the waiting list for transplant is treated equally irrespective of their nationality. “The waiting list is one and all get equal opportunity. In our survey, we found that 50% of people thought that we give preference for Qataris. But we treat everyone equally. It is four blood groups and four groups of people. So when an organ is available, it goes to the top person on the list,” he highlighted
According to the waiting list, there are 84 people for kidney transplant and 18 for liver. “ This year we did 16 kidney transplants and four liver transplants.We plan to exceed 20 kidney transplants this year. We had plans for pancreas transplant but the patient had recovered well and did not need a transplant,” he described.
“When people want to donate, half of them will donate on their own, others will ask their family and friends. Sometimes, even though, they are willing, family members might be resistant in allowing them for organ donation, especially the older people who have less knowledge about it. If there is a conflict, we don’t do it. We don’t want the family to have a conflict at the time of someone’s death,” added Dr al-Maslamani.
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