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Prague facility was Europe’s largest organ transplant centre in 2019

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Prague’s Institute for Clinical and Experimental Medicine (IKEM) was the largest transplant centre in Europe, transplanting 540 organs to 486 patients in 2019, its representatives said at a press conference today.

IKEM does roughly 70 percent of all transplants in the Czech Republic. Last year, a total of 865 organs were given to patients around the country.

“According to available data, not even the largest UK centre in Birmingham, nor the centres in Northern Europe and in our neighbour countries reach our results,” the head of IKEM’s transplantation centre, Ondrej Viklicky, said, adding that patients received a total of 299 kidneys, 154 livers, 38 hearts, 41 pancreases, seven islets of Langerhans (that produce insulin) and one small intestine.

Last year’s high number of surgeries, one of the highest since the introduction of transplantation surgeries in the Czech Republic, was reached due to a high number of dead donors.

There were 288 donors who died in 2019 and IKEM was able to use organs from 155 of them.

“Currently, the most common donors are those who died of stroke, causing brain death,” IKEM’s organ collection department head Eva Pokorna explained, adding that there were also 33 live kidney donors in 2019.

Apart from IKEM, transplantations are also performed at Prague’s Motol hospital and the University Hospitals in Brno, Hradec Kralove, Plzen, Ostrava and Olomouc.

In the Czech Republic, the law assumes that a deceased person gives automatic consent to becoming an organ donor.

Citizens can also register to be put on a list of those who do not wish to become donors after death.

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