Heart transplant for 10-month-old ‘could have been conducted in Turkey’

Heart transplant for 10-month-old ‘could have been conducted in Turkey’

Heart transplant for 10-month-old ‘could have been conducted in Turkey’ A top surgeon has refuted claims from the family of a 10-month-old baby that heart transplant surgery is not conducted on young babies in Turkey. 

Turkish Cardiovascular Surgery Foundation Prof. Rüçhan Akar’s comments came on July 5 after a family initiated a fundraising campaign that raised 1.1 million euros for their baby to undergo crucial heart transplant surgery in Germany.

The family of the baby, who is currently in intensive care and needs an immediate heart transplant surgery, said they had kicked off the campaign as such surgery is not conducted on such young babies in Turkey. 

Prof. Akar on the other hand stated in a press release that Turkey undertook transplant surgeries for all age groups, including newborns, to international standards. 

“Another important issue that must be emphasized is that transplant surgery is conducted without any financial burden being imposed on our patients, with the government covering all expenses,” Akar said.

The cardiovascular surgeon, however, also emphasized the number of organ donations in Turkey was not at a desired level. 

“Organ donation rations are still not high enough. Unfortunately, only one out of every four patients’ families give approval for organ donations. In other words, the 75 percent of cadaveric donor organs that can be used in organ transplants cannot be used due to hesitation among patients’ families to make donations. This is not just a problem in our country, it is also a problem in other countries where organ transplant surgeries are undertaken,” Akar said.  

“It is saddening that before even being going for an evaluation at an organ transplant center in our country, treatment abroad is preferred and fundraising campaigns are initiated,” he added.

However, Akar also noted that he was very happy to witness the Turkish public’s “sensitivity” regarding the baby’s case, because the family had raised enough money for the surgery in Germany within 24 hours.