Surgeons transplant heart that had stopped beating
Surgeons in Australia say they have performed the first heart transplant using a “dead heart” where the donor hearts from adults usually come from people who are confirmed as brain dead but with a heart still beating.
A team at St Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney revived and then transplanted hearts that had stopped beating. The first patient who received a heart said she felt a decade younger and was now a “different person”. It is well known that hearts are the only organ that is not used after the heart has stopped beating – known as donation after circulatory death.
The operation is conducted as follows: beating hearts are normally taken from brain-dead people, kept on ice for around four hours and then transplanted to patients, and then it is transplanted in the recipient patient’s body.
The novel technique used in Sydney involved taking a heart that had stopped beating and reviving it in a machine known as a “heart-in-a-box”, where the heart is kept warm, the heartbeat is restored and a nourishing fluid helps reduce damage to the heart muscle.
The first person to have the surgery was Michelle Gribilas, 57, who was suffering from congenital heart failure. She had the surgery more than two months ago. “Now I’m a different person altogether,” she said. “I feel like I’m 40 years old – I’m very lucky.” There have since been a further two successful operations.
Prof Peter MacDonald, head of St Vincent’s heart transplant unit, said: “This breakthrough represents a major inroad to reducing the shortage of donor organs.” It is thought the heart-in-a-box, which is being tested at sites around the world, could save up to 30% more lives by increasing the number of available organs.
New British Genetic test detects thousands of diseases
Researchers at the ‘Wilkham’ Center in Cambridge, Britain have developed a new test for the detection of thousands of rare hereditary genetic diseases within a few minutes.
The test is based on conducting a comprehensive genetic examination on a donation sample of blood or saliva and comparing the results with a huge database, to determine the nature of the disease accurately within minutes.
Developers of this test seek to make it available to patients in the UK hospitals within a short period, to detect up to seven thousand genetic diseases, and would only cost about $ 1,500.
Researchers expect that this test will put an end to the long periods of waiting for the diagnosis of many genetic diseases in children as well as embodying a new scientific revolution in the treatment of these diseases
Hypnotics and sedatives may lead to addiction
German Center for Addiction Treatment warned that the use of hypnotics and sedatives over a period of time may lead to addiction, adding that the person addicted to those medications does not notice it at first, as one pill a day is sufficient for his needs, and thus there is no need to increase the dose.
When this daily dosage is suspended, the patient presents withdrawal symptoms, which may appear similar to the original symptoms but may be even stronger, and thus lead to abuse medication abuse once again. With such continued engagement the patient feels exhausted and acclimated.
To avoid the risk of addiction, the German Center stressed the need to only use hypnotics on a doctor’s prescription, taking the lowest possible dose for the shortest time, considering gradually easing the dosage instead of sudden suspension of the medications use.
On the other hand, the center reported that the contribution of hypnotic and sedative pills is minimal at resolving the root cause of their prescription, providing only temporary relief, adding that it is better to resort to relaxation or psychiatric treatment as an alternative technique.
Consuming Red Meat increase risk of Diabetes
A study from Singapore published in the U.S. found that an increased intake of red meat was associated with higher risk of type 2 diabetes. Health Day News website said that researchers from Public Health College of Singapore’s National University showed that a study of 149,000 men and women found that increased intake of red meat increased the risk of contracting type 2 diabetes by about 48%.
They alos found that those who reduced their red meat intake were 14% less likely to suffer from type 2 diabetes. The study’s main supervisor said that increased intake of red meat increases the chances of contracting diabetes recommending the reduction of red meat intake and replacement with healthier choices such as vegetables, soy products, nuts, fish and whole grains.
Participation in the Discovery Mall Entertainment Day
The Kuwait Transplant Society participated in the happenings of the Discovery Mall Entertainment Day where many visitors called on the KTS stand and heard a detailed explanation of the society’s activities and the different ways of organ donation after expiry and the organ transplantation programs in Kuwait, where a number of attendees filled out donation documents at the event.
KTS participates in the 1st Social Sciences College Health Exhibit
The Kuwait Transplant Society participated in the events of the 1st Social Sciences College Health Exhibit where many exhibit visitors called on the KTS stand and heard a detailed explanation of the society’s activities and the organ transplantation programs in Kuwait. Many of those attendees filled out donation documents at the event.
KTS honor Team Kuwait participants in the Istanbul 2014 Championships
The Kuwait Transplant Society organized an event to honor Team Kuwait who participated in the proceedings of the 5th Middle East Organ Transplant Championships that were held in Istanbul between the 11th -13th of September 2014.
KTS Chairman Dr. Mustapha Al Moussawi confirmed the society’s commitment to provide all forms of support and assistance to the team in order to achieve positive results; especially that Kuwait had founded this event and hosted its twice in 2001 and 2007. Kuwait had scored advanced results in all similar events noting that it had participated in the 3rd MEOT Championships in Tunisia the 4th MEOT Championships in Abu Dhabi in 2012.
Team Kuwait Captain & KTS Treasurer, Mr. Adnan Safar expressed his elation at the championship results which included several gold, silver and bronze medals, promising better results in the future hailing the support of the KTS Board of Directors in ensuring the continued participation of Team Kuwait in the Championships for the fifth time in a row
Kuwait’s first liver transplant
Conducted for a patient with cirrhosis of the liver
In an unprecedented medical achievement, a joint Kuwaiti-British medical team performed the first liver transplant at Kuwait’s Mubarak Al-Kabeer Hospital.
Commenting on this feat, Kuwait’s Minister of Health Dr. Basel Al Sabah said “the transplant was offered to a Kuwaiti patient suffering from acute cirrhosis of the liver, with a complete deterioration of its function; this meant that the only remedy to save the patient’s life was for the patient to undergo a liver transplant from a brain deceased patient after receiving consent from his next of kin.
The Kuwaiti Minister added that the joint Kuwaiti – British medical team that carried out the procedure in Kuwait were operating under a joint agreement between the Kuwait Ministry of Health and the Liver Transplant Division of Kings College Hospital on of Great Britain’s largest liver transplant centers that conduct over 250 similar operations per year.
The Kuwaiti Minister stressed that “this agreement is cornerstone for the establishment of a permanent program for liver transplants in Kuwait through training and promotion of capabilities of national Kuwaiti experts in the field, ultimately leading to a self sufficient practice in the long run.”
Al Mousawi: Kidney purchase from abroad is a crime punishable under Kuwaiti Laws
The Chairman of the Kuwait Transplant society (KTS), Dr. Mustapha Al Mousawi, stressed Kuwait’s commitment to combat human organ trade and the nation’s involvement in the global movement to address this crime and to seek practical solutions that take into account the needs of patients.
Representing Kuwait at the Papal Science Academy Conference on (Human Organ Trafficking) that concluded its activities last Wednesday whilst under the auspices of Pope Francis, Al Mousawi said of his participation, speaking to Kuwait News Agency (KUNA), that is was part of the International Movement that was launched in 2005 to combat human organ trafficking.
He added “Kuwait has played an active role from the beginning by hosting a founding meeting in 2006 to crystallize this movement. Preparations for the Istanbul Conference were held in 2008. A representative of the Kuwait Society participated in organizing and coordinating its work, which resulted in the Istanbul Declaration and the recommendations of the World Health Organization in 2010, representing the international movement in this field.”
He stressed the important impact of the global movement, especially after the Istanbul Declaration, aiming curb this trade, which is based on exploiting the needs of the poor to acquire their organs or even steal them for sale to wealthy patients.
Clarifying he explained “Although it will be difficult to halt this trade as long as there is a huge shortage of available organs, as they represent a profitable trade for some doctors and non-professional hospitals and intermediaries run by organized crime in countries known for trafficking in human organs such as Pakistan, Egypt and China; the fact is that all countries of the world criminalize these immoral and inhuman practices.”
Al Mousawi emphasized that “most of the smuggling of trafficked organs takes place in hospitals that are not qualified, as their goal is limited to profit,” warning of the large and serious complications associated with such medical operations.
The Chairman of the Kuwait Transplant Society (KST), Dr. Mustapha Al Mousawi, pointed out that most of patients are unaware of the risks, especially those suffering from renal failure, and have warned them to travel to buy kidneys from abroad. This has serious and grave health consequences. The practice is criminal and is punishable by Kuwaiti Law and in the countries where it is conducted.
He pointed out that the best and most realistic solution to this growing phenomenon is to provide the organs to those in need in an orderly and transparent, so that patients do not have to resort to this option.
He added “The only way to provide organs to patients is through legal organ harvest after death of the contributor. Unfortunately, it is well known that the Middle East lags behind in Europe and North America in this field.”
He explained that the 1987 organ transplantation law of Kuwait criminalizes trafficking in organs, whether by buying or selling, and that the Kuwaiti Society for Organ Transplantation has adopted the Istanbul Declaration since its issuance in 2008. It addressed the Ministry of Health and the media to raise awareness in this regard.
Dr. Mustafa Al Mousawi praised the positions of Pope Francis, whom he met with a group of participating surgical professors, and was pleased with the interest the Pope expressed regards the issue of organ transplantation, which he regards as one of the modern forms of slavery. The Pope appealed to all religious, political and social leaders in the world to confront this practice in this spirit.
Egypt’s Ministry of Health will soon launch awareness campaigns for organ donation with Al Azhar & the Coptic Church’s participation
Director of the Central Administration for Non-Governmental Treatment Institutions & Licenses at Egypt’s Ministry of Health & Population Dr. Ali Mahrous announced that the ministry will begin launching a number of awareness campaigns related to organ transplants with the participation of a number of clerics from Al Azhar and the Coptic Church. The purpose of these campaigns will be to highlight the importance of organ donation in helping others and saving patients from death.
Mahrous stressed that the organ transplant committee meet on the last Sunday of every month to discuss the latest developments regards the activation of the Organ Transplant from Clinically Dead Patients Law.
He pointed out that organ donation is not compulsory, but only happens after citizens concede at the time of death of their family members in favor of patients in need, and is documented through a waiver at the registrar of ownership to verify that there are no suspicions surrounding the sale of organs after death.