Israel's organ donation rate is among the lowest in the world, but new data show that the country ranks first in finding potential organ donors.
A study of six countries found that Israel is a world leader in finding brain-dead patients who may be medically suitable for organ donation.
According to hospital protocol, medical personnel are obligated to keep the organ donation coordinator informed on every brain-dead patient under their care. The coordinator, in turn, discusses the possibility of organ donation with the patient's family, while doctors preserve the organs using various methods.
A recent study of organ donations in Israel, Finland, Belgium, Switzerland, France and Poland placed Israel last in failure to find potential organ donors.
According to the study, over the course of a year only five of some 600 Israeli organ donation candidates were not detected in time.
"The rate of organ donations in Israel is among the lowest in the world, but we reach a relatively high rate of potential organ donors due to the cooperation between medical personnel and organ donation coordinators. This is definitely an achievement," says Dr. Jonathan Cohen, who heads the program for the detection of potential organ donors.
More than 1,000 Israelis, including 25 children, are currently waiting for an organ transplant. Of those, about 700 are in need of a kidney transplant and undergo dialysis treatment three times a week. Some 150 Israelis are in need of a liver transplant, more than 130 are awaiting a heart transplant, while some 70 others are in need of a lung transplant.
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