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Over 700 patients given new heart in past decade

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Prague, April 2 (CTK) – More than 700 patients were given a new heart in the Czech Republic in the past ten years, from 57 to 87 a year, and about 100 patients are waiting for a heart transplant now, according to data from the Transplant Coordination Centre.

The number of other organs’ transplant surgeries increased by one third in the given period.

Human heart was for the first time transplanted in Prague, then capital of the Czechoslovak federation, in 1984.

Fifteen years ago, Czech doctors from the Prague-seated Institute for Clinical and Experimental Medicine (IKEM) for the first time used an artificial heart to save a patient.

“Mechanical heart is a bridge towards the transplant for those who otherwise would not have lived to see a heart from a donor,” IKEM’s senior heart surgeon Jan Pirk said.

At the time, the patient had the artificial heart placed on his belly and interconnected with his own heart.

Last November, doctors in IKEM for the first time planted an artificial heart in a patient instead of his own heart which they removed.

The Czech Republic was the third country to apply this method, the first being France five years ago.

The Czech Republic ranks among the leaders in terms of organ transplants. Its number of donors per one million inhabitants was the sixth highest in the world last year.

The most frequently transplanted organ is kidney, also donated by living donors.

The Czech law supposes a deceased person’s automatic consent to organs donation, unless he or she had not decided otherwise. Disagreement with the step may also be expressed by the dead person’s family, which 10 families did last year.

In the coutry with a population of 10.6-million, some 1,500 people have had their names put in the registry of those who do not want their organs to be donated.

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