Illustrative image (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Organ transplantation in Vietnam, despite difficulties, has recorded numerous achievements this year, giving hope to thousands of patients nationwide.

According to Trinh Hong Son, director of the Vietnam National Coordinating Centre for Human Organ Transplantation under the Ministry of Health, in Hanoi’s major hospitals alone, about 6,000 patients need a kidney transplant and more than 1,500 patients are on the waiting list for liver transplant. Over 6,000 people need cornea replacement, while heart and lung transplants are critical to save hundreds of others.

In Vietnam, organ donation is yet to be accepted by the mass, hence a scarcity of tissues and organs for transplantation, particularly those from brain-dead patients. As of August 31, the number of brain-dead and circulatory-dead donors reached 223, accounting for 6.6 percent of the total donors. The majority of organs used in transplantation in Vietnam are from living donors.

On October 16, a tissue bank under the Hanoi-based Viet Duc Hospital, the first of its kind in Vietnam, became fully operational. To date, it has preserved nearly 1,000 skull fragments, heart valves, sinews, and blood vessels.

On December 12, nearly 500 doctors and medical staff from Viet Duc hospital, without the help of foreign experts, carried out four organ transplantations simultaneously to four patients. All the organs were donated by a brain-dead man from the northern province of Ninh Binh.

The first case was the transplant of two lungs on a 17-year-old patient, which lasted 14 hours. Vietnam has so far successfully carried out three transplants of lungs but this is the first time Vietnamese doctors performed the transplant of two lungs at the same time successfully.

The donor’s heart was used for a 60-year-old patient, the liver for a 63-year-old woman and one kidney for a 41-year-old man.

The other kidney was transported to the Nhi Dong 2 Hospital in Ho Chi Minh City for another kidney transplant on a 15-year-old boy.

With this success, Viet Duc Hospital set a new record of the number of surgeries to take and transplant the most organs at the same time.

Vietnam has so far conducted 3,200 kidney transplants, 105 liver transplants, 27 heart transplants and only three cases of lung transplants.-VNA