Major Organ Transplants Introduced to the UAE

06 March 2018

Lab Chat

Since the introduction of the organ transplant laws in 2016, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has been making significant progress when it comes to donation procedures. And now, it seems these efforts have come to fruition, with the first transplants of several major organs taking place in the Emirates. Let’s take a closer look at what exactly this means for the UAE…

Increasing organ donation

The most recent milestone for healthcare is the first person to receive a liver transplant in the UAE. The Emirati man in question was suffering from liver cirrhosis and failure, making surgery necessary to save his life.

This isn’t the first organ break-through moment, with heart, lung and kidney transplants all taking place in 2017. These procedures were successfully carried out and mark a new era for healthcare in the UAE

Government officials and medical professionals have been helping the implementation of these laws. The chairman of the Department of Health, Sheikh Abdullah Al Hamed, recently described his pride for these “medical milestones”.

What’s next for transplants?

Major organ transplants have come from both living and cadaver donors. It allows those in need to have surgery at home surrounded by relatives and reduces the risks associated with medical treatments abroad.

The Cleveland Clinic in Abu Dhabi is the only multi-organ transplant in the country, but with officials wanting a more “robust culture of organ donation”, we could soon see a wider rollout of transplant services.

With recent funding into the Dubai Health Forum, there is emphasis on changing technology and how this can help patients in the future. A focus on artificial intelligence healthcare is a growing trend. Recent studies in the UK also show how medical experts are predicting robotic medicine with new research into devices to keep hearts pumping. With the health care sector constantly changing, who knows what could be next for transplant surgery?

Changing donation status

There are still discussions surrounding the status of organ transplants. Of those surveyed 68% of UAE individuals would support organ donation. Currently donations and consent are given by fourth-degree relatives and there are strict laws prohibiting how, what and where the human organs are harvested.

More recently though, the Ministry of Health announced plans to list organ donor status of Emirates IDs but are yet to reveal any further details. Although there are no plans for an opt-out donating system like Spain, it does show the impact of changing laws and medical progressions.

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