Fewer organ transplants due to Covid
The number of organ transplants performed in the Netherlands decreased in 2020, according to figures from the Dutch Transplant Foundation. Director of the foundation, Bernadette Haase, attributed the decline to the coronavirus pandemic, NOS reports.
Organ donation from deceased patients decreased by 4 percent, while live organ transplants decreased by a quarter.
Especially at the beginning of the pandemic little was known of the effect the coronavirus could have on both donors and recipients of transplants. The entire health care department was additionally under a lot of pressure to treat coronavirus patients.
“You first have to be sure of the effects”, Haase said to the NOS Radio 1 Journaal. “It of course has to be safe when working with a live donor because, in the end, you are operating on a healthy person. Also, for the patient that receives the transplant we were not sure initially of the effect the coronavirus could have on a patient that already is vulnerable.”
That the decrease in organ transplants from deceased patients remained at 4 percent Haase called “an incredibly good result”. “Because we gave it our all, we were able to produce these results. When the second wave hit, we already had gathered experience from the first wave on how to handle transplants.”
The number of transplants decreased from 770 in 2019 to 733 last year, while the total number of patients in need of a transplant stayed roughly the same at 1,257.