The debate surrounding organ transplants resumed in Algeria after local surgeons successfully completed the first organ transplant surgery at the Ibn Badis hospital in Constantine, east of Algiers, from a deceased donor in his fifties.
Algerian Health Minister Mohamed Merawi considered this a “great achievement” in record time through three successful transplants to three patients who were on the organ waiting list. The 18-hour organ removal was conducted by a multidisciplinary Algerian medical team comprising specialists in surgery, neurology, forensic medicine and medical imaging.
The multi-organ (kidney and liver) procedure follows four years of perseverance and comes after 28 attempts at this breakthrough.
For two consecutive days, The Kuwaiti Transplant Society, in association with the Press & Information Bureau of the Ministry of Health, organized an organ donation drive at The Avenues Mall. The drive attracted a large number of the facilities visitors, both citizens and expatriates.
Many expressed their interest in the activities of the association and inquired about the donation procedures both in Kuwait and abroad, where several signed on and became organ donors after completing the necessary paperwork and forms that were available at the event’s booth
In association with the the Al Raya Nominees Roster for Kuwait University Student Union Elections (Britain & NI Chapter), the Kuwait Transplant Society organized a Organ Donation day for the members of the roster and their supporters at the kts premises, under the banner “Raya for Life” initiative.
Al Raya Nominees Roster displayed a great deal of interest during the events of the day, where they listened to an explanation about the organ transplant program, and many of them registered onto the organ donation lists in case of their demise.
The Kuwait Transplant Society participated in the fourth Jahra Medical Zone Conference on Pediatrics, where many attendees visited the Society’s booth and listened to a detailed explanation about the humanitarian activities the association and the different organ transplant programs, leading to a large number of them registering to become donors themselves
The Kuwait Transplant Society held a ceremony honoring organ transplant donors, under the patronage of H.E. the Minister of Health of the State of Kuwait, in the presence of Kuwait MP/ Ahmad Nabil Al-Fadl, members of the Association, donors and families of deceased donors and a large number of doctors, nurses and those with a vested interest in the activities of the society.
Dr. Mustafa Al Moussawi – Chairman of the Society and Director of Organ Transplant Program at the Kuwait Ministry of Health said during his address at the event “Honoring donors is important because it is known that if there are no donors, there will be no organ transplants – which are usually based on donors who are either relatives or face their demise. Living donors provide kidneys and portions of the liver in low risk medical
operations. However, donors who pass away can provide organs for up to eight other patients where two kidneys, a liver, a heart and a pancreas can be donated.
He pointed out that the number of holders of donation cards has reached more than 13 thousand, which he considered still a few, expressing hope that the society could multiply this number to reach hundreds of thousands.
Dr. Rana Al Abdelrazzaq- Vice Chairman of the Kuwait Organ Transplant Society explained “the problem we have here in Kuwait is that although we have skilled doctors and the latest technology to perform operations, we lack donors; thus long queues for kidney, liver, heart and other vital organ transplants are the only hope for desperate patients.”
Many donors gave speeches about how their lives changed for the better after the donation, as well as the parents of the donors who faced their demise, expressing how grateful and tender they have become, and one of the donors said that his life changed completely to the best in all directions after his donation.
The Kuwait Transplant Society organized a lecture on renal failure and organ donation, where Dr. Mustafa Al Moussawi, the Chairman of the Society, addressed the Girls Modern Arab Academy Middle School students.
Al-Moussawi reviewed the association’s activities, how to donate organs and procedures for that to happen, citing the importance of organ donation in saving the lives of the many patients whose treatment may depend on the transfer of an organ instead of the malfunctioning one.
He highlighted the Society’s contribution to the field of organ transplants from healthy donors who pass away, including kidney and liver transfers, explaining that progress in the medical field makes organ transplants achievable, effortless and safer than they were previously.
Students in attendance responded positively to the address exchanging questions with the Chairman.
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