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In 2023, 16 heart transplant operations were halted in Japan

There were 16 cases in Japan in 2023 where heart transplant operations were halted due to staff shortages and other reasons at medical institutions, the Japanese Heart Transplant Association said on Tuesday.

The association surveyed eleven medical institutions that perform heart transplants in the country. Of the abandoned cases, 15 were reported at the University of Tokyo Hospital, and the remaining at the National Cerebral and Cardiovascular Center in Suita City, Osaka Prefecture.

A shortage of doctors and nurses was cited as a reason to halt such operations.

It is believed that the donated hearts rejected at the two medical institutions were transplanted to patients at other hospitals.

Of the sixteen patients whose transplants were stopped, ten later received a transplant, while six are still awaiting a transplant.

In 2023, a total of 115 heart transplants were performed at the 11 medical institutions. Of these, the University of Tokyo Hospital and the National Cerebral and Cardiovascular Center were responsible for 25 and 32, respectively.

At a press conference Tuesday, Yoshiki Sawa, head of the transplant association, stressed the need to resolve the current situation in which heart transplants are concentrated in a few medical institutions and to create a system that will allow patients found compatible with donated organs are being treated. transferred to other hospitals for transplantation.

“We will work to strengthen the system to help as many patients as possible,” including through collaboration with the public sector, Sawa said.



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