The achievements of the organ transplantation program in Saudi Arabia during the year 2011 reflected the progressive success in the number of organ donations and transplantations, but with escalating numbers of end stage organ failure patients awaiting transplantation. The organ failure census during 2011 showed more than 12,500 patients are on dialysis in 178 hospitals in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), and about 22.3% are on the active waiting list for transplantation, with another 20% being evaluated for inclusion in it. The KSA has an active deceased transplant program under the supervision of the Saudi Center for Organ Transplantation (SCOT). Clear policies have been laid down to facilitate diagnosis of death by brain function criteri, and the management of potential deceased donors. At the end of the year 2011, a total of 8820 possible deceased cases have been reported to SCOT, of which 710 were reported from 97 intensive care units around the Kingdom during that year. In the last five years, an average of 615 cases per year were reported. More energetic measures are still required to increase the number of reports of possible deceased cases, as well as obtaining consents. Only this will help bridge the gap between supply and demand of organs for more than 3000 patients in the active waiting list for organ transplantation. Inside the Kingdom by the end of 2011, renal transplantation have been performed from a total of 4830 living donors and 2349 deceased donors, of which 489 were transplanted in 16 active renal transplant centers. Also, liver transplations were performed from a total of 439 living donors and 620 deceased donors, in which 130 of them were transplanted in 4 active liver transplant centers. Whole heart transplantations have been performed from a total of 205 deceased donors; 540 were used as sources for heart valves, and 18 whole hearts were transplanted in one active heart transplant center, during that year. In addition, during that year, 19 lung transplant operations and two harvested pancreases were successfully transplanted. The consent for corneal donation was obtained from 43 eligible deceased organ donors, a result of 37 % of total consented cases. Finally, bone transplantations have been active since 2009. Although we still have to work harder to achieve the self-sufficiency of organ donation and transplantation, we believe we have made major strides towards this goal in the KSA, especially in the last year.


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  • Accepted: 23 June 2012
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