Portugal has a waiting list for kidney transplant composed of 2,000 people, the president of the Portuguese Transplant Society (SPT), Susana Sampaio, said, calling for action to boost the number of kidneys coming from live donors.
In comments to Lusa in a break from an event to mark the anniversary of the first kidney transplant carried out in Portugal, on 20 July of 1969, Sampaio highlighted shortages of what is the most frequently transplanted organ.
“In Portugal, and in the world, the transplant that is most carried out is of the kidney, and so we have more people on the waiting list,” she said. “In Portugal there are about two thousand people waiting.”
The waiting time, she added, “depends on blood group, but can reach five-and-a-half years from the start of dialysis”.
According to Sampaio, “perhaps for epidemiological questions, blood pressure more out of control and fewer visits to the doctor” there are more men than women on the waiting list.
At a session whose theme was ‘Transplants and Pregnancy’, Sampaio stressed the need to increase the number of kidneys donated by living donors, since the number of organs coming from corpses is not enough to meet the need.
Portugal is among countries where consent is presumed for organ donation when a person dies, unless they have previously manifested opposition in the form of a legal document stating that they do not want to be considered for donation on death. In practice, though, consent of relatives is often sought.