Experts warn organ donations need to rise in China

About 300,000 patients suffer middle or terminal stages of organ failure across China every year, with only some 10,000 receiving organ transplants.

A 51-year-old patient with irreversible brain damage donated his liver and two kidneys at Shanghai Changzheng Hospital on Thursday, marking the 87th organ donation in the city this year.

About 300,000 patients suffer middle or terminal stages of organ failure in the nation every year, but only some 10,000 receive organ transplants. 

Some 16,000 transplants were conducted last year, the highest number in the past few years, officials said.

China stopped using organs harvested from executed prisoners from 2015, and although organ donations keep rising annually, there is still a big shortage.

To boost donations, a series of activities were conducted this week to promote public education during China Organ Donation Day. Some 70 hospitals in 39 cities participated in activities organized by the China Organ Transplantation Development Foundation.

“There is a big gap between organ donations in China and foreign countries,” said Dr Gu Jinyang from Xinhua Hospital. “In the United States, the donation rate among every one million people is 30, while it is only 3 in China. In Spain, it is 44 to every one million people."

Gu said that under such a low donation rate, demand for organs his high in China, especially because of its huge population.

Doctors said more public education should be conducted, while a better, more convenient and efficient system for donor registration and organ collection, management and allocation should be built.

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