Prague’s Institute for Clinical and Experimental Medicine (IKEM) is the largest transplant center in Europe, transplanting 540 organs into 486 patients in 2019.
According to Ondřej Viklický, the head of the IKEM Transplant Center, neither the largest center in the United Kingdom located in Birmingham nor the other centers in Northern Europe or the surrounding countries are achieving results as positive as those at IKEM.
Last year, the facility replaced 299 kidneys, 154 livers, 38 hearts, 41 pancreases, seven islets of Langerhans that produce insulin, and one small intestine.
Last year’s number of operations, which was one of the highest since organ transplants in the Czech Republic began, was achieved due to a record increase in the number of deceased donors. There were 288 Czech donors with organs from 155 of them being used in IKEM.
Apart from IKEM, university hospitals in Prague’s Motol, Brno, Hradec Králové, Pilsen, Ostrava, and Olomouc also performed transplantations. The Czech Republic has also increased cooperation with other countries, such as its decision to create an organ donor swap program with Israel.
In every transplant center, there is a team of coordinators who organize donations. The priority is to reduce the time of transmission of the organ to the recipient as much as possible. In the heart, blood circulation must be restored within a maximum of four hours, in the liver within 12 hours, while in the kidneys the general limit is 24 hours.
In the Czech Republic, the law requires consent to donate organs either by the donor or the donor’s family.