SAUDI ARABIA

Patients ask kidney center to resume transplant surgeries

January 02, 2018
King Fahd Hospital in Jeddah.
King Fahd Hospital in Jeddah.

By Mohammed Dawood

Okaz/Saudi Gazette

JEDDAH — Renal failure patients have urged the Kidney Center at King Fahd Hospital in Jeddah to resume transplant operations to end their suffering.

The center stopped transplant operations two months ago even though many patients were on the waitlist. This was the first time the center stopped transplant operations since its opening 21 years ago.

"It was a surprise decision," said a kidney patient while speaking to Okaz/Saudi Gazette about the sudden stoppage of transplant operations at the center.

"We have not received any convincing answer from the authorities about the present condition of the center and the reason for stopping transplant operations," the patient said.

The Jeddah center is one of the oldest and most important kidney transplant centers in the entire Kingdom. The present condition of the center has dismayed the patients and they have called for the interference of higher authorities to restore its normal activities.

"There are many patients on the waiting list for kidney transplants and at the same time there are many donors ready to help the patients," said a social worker.

The Saudi Center for Organ Transplantation (SCOT) sent a four-member team of doctors to the center to study the condition and problems of the center.

Among the problems the team discovered was the failure of doctors at the center to meet and discuss the conditions of patients and take joint decisions on new patients and donors.

Specialists do not make any rounds to see the condition of patients and donors in order to provide them with necessary care and no new patients are admitted for transplant surgery, the SCOT team said.

No efforts have been made to harvest organs from brain-dead donors in the last three years due to a lack of cooperation between surgical and medical teams, it added.

"Doctors and surgeons at the center do not work as one team. They have lost team spirit. There is no high-level committee to review the center's performance and take care of patients in danger," the team said in a report on its findings.

Spelling out solutions, the committee said organ donations by brain-dead people must be encouraged to ensure the availability of kidneys for transplant operations at the center.

King Fahd Hospital is one of the biggest hospitals in the Kingdom and it is a good source for organs from the brain-dead but surgeons at the center are unaware of ways to remove kidneys from such patients, according to the report.

SCOT has urged King Fahd Hospital to tackle the problems facing the center quickly.

"It should implement the rules and regulations followed by similar centers around the world. If it fails to do so we will recommend its closure," the SCOT team said.

SCOT has the authority to close down transplant centers that do not follow regulations. The health minister has approved the guidelines for transplant operations in the Kingdom including those conducted at the Jeddah center.


January 02, 2018
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