China plans to build the country's first two centers devoted to repairing donor organs, as part of efforts to tackle a shortage of organ donations in the country, health experts said on Tuesday.
Yang Zhiying, head of the China-Japan Friendship Hospital's general surgery department, said the hospital, located in Beijing, has partnered with Sun Yat-Sen University's First Affiliated Hospital in Guangzhou, Guangdong province to set up an organ repairing center in each city.
Yang, who is also an expert in liver operations, said although liver transplant technologies have matured, the number of people awaiting suitable livers still outnumber that of available organs.
"In the field of liver transplantation, it is not rare to see donor organs being rejected because they are too fatty, or the donor had existing infections," he said. "If we can repair organs to make them eligible for transplantation, more patients will be saved."
In recent years, China has made significant progress in promoting voluntary organ donations and increasing the survival rates of organ recipients, with the total number of life-saving procedures ranking first in Asia and the second across the globe, according to authorities.
China-Japan Friendship Hospital is one of the first hospitals in the country certified to perform organ transplant surgeries. From 2018 to last year, the hospital had conducted more than 280 lung transplants, more than 200 kidney transplants and last year performed 14 liver transplants, said Liu Yong, vice-president of the hospital.
"The hospital will continue to upgrade its organ procurement system, step up training and management of organ procurement coordinators," he said. "Meanwhile, we will step up research into organ transplants to transform more scientific outcomes into clinical solutions."