The State Transplant Program (PET) of Rio de Janeiro recorded a record for organ procurement and transplants in 2022, with 1,152 notifications of possible donors, 349 donations and 2,650 transplants.
According to the State Department of Health (SES-RJ), this was the best result in the historical series, started in 2010, surpassing the numbers of 2019, before the covid-19 pandemic, when there were 2,481 transplants. The worst annual result of the program occurred in 2020, when the pandemic began. There were 1,936 transplants performed in the state.
According to SES, more than one organ can be collected in one donation. Therefore, the total number of transplants is greater than the number of donations. According to the annual balance of the program, of the 2,650 transplants performed last year, 821 were of solid organs, 172 of bone marrow, 549 of cornea, 93 of sclera (white of the eye) and 1,015 of tissue, muscle and skeletal.
In the first two months of this year, the program accounts for 236 transplants, 121 of solid organs, 36 of bone marrow, 64 of cornea and 15 of sclera. In the assessment of SES, this reflects the work that has been carried out by the PET in training the intra-hospital commissions for Donation of Organs and Tissues for Transplantation (CIHDOTT), which work within the health units. Currently, 160 committees work together with the State Transplant Center.
According to the Secretary of State for Health, Dr. Luizinho, the secretary wants Rio de Janeiro to be a reference and model for all of Brazil in the area.
“For this, it spares no efforts and has invested in increasing and training teams that harvest organs in hospitals. All of this effort is critical to saving lives.”
To improve the procurement of organs in the state, SES made available, in 2021, an exclusive helicopter for this type of transport. The measure speeds up the process, the success of which depends on fast transport. In 2022, the aircraft transported 145 organs for transplantation.
Organ donations in Brazil occur in solidarity and depend on the agreement of family members. A survey by the State Transplant Center points out that the number of refusals from families who do not wish to donate the organ of the deceased relative has been falling year after year. In 2015, this rate was 43%. In 2022, it dropped to 35%. In the first two months of 2023, the rate was 33%.
In 2022, the State Transplant Center accredited new transplant centers and trained teams to welcome families. These centers act to sensitize relatives about the gesture of donating organs.
Last year, the program qualified a team for, after 15 years, the State of Rio to perform lung transplants again. Only three states, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo and Rio Grande do Sul, perform this type of surgery.