Rey Anthony Chiu
TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, June 24, 2013 (PIA) –Kidnapping for kidneys is a medical impossibility.
Kidney transplant surgeon and urologist consultant of the National Kidney Transplant Institute (NKTI), during a press conference Wednesday at the Jjs Seafoods Village impressed the “improbability of a kidney harvested for a transplant operation, if it ever happens.”
Urologist consultant of the NKTI, Dr. Jose Benito Abraham said kidneys harvested in such a manner “never ends up in a transplant process.”
The statement came as a reaction from media comments amid received reports of disappearing kids believed to be kidnapped for the lucrative “kidney for sale business.”
The allegations of “kidneys for sale” came after the 2007 controversy where the Philippines NKTI recorded the highest number of foreigners availing of Filipino kidneys and were transplant-operated at the government facility.
With the capacity to buy human kidneys, foreigners and even well-off Filipinos then “paid” kidney donors who submit themselves to a battery of medical tests at the NKTI for the transplant to be consumated.
The tests are needed to match the kidneys of the donor and recipient keep the recipients from possible kidney rejection which is fatal for someone who has paid a hefty amount to get a new kidney.
The young surgeon impressed to members of the media in Bohol that a kidney transplant is a lot more complicated than picking up an organ and affixing it back to a human body.
He said kidney transplants, which happen in only a few accredited hospitals in the country, Asia takes months of preparation which includes blood work-up to determine if the recipient patient is receptive to the new organ.
A failed organ transplant is a bad mark against the hospital, according to Dr. Reynaldo Lesaca, transplant psychiatrist at the NKTI.
Following the “kidney organ for sale controversy”, there is no other medical specialty more scrutinized and monitored in the country than kidney transplantation, Dr Lesaca said.
Medical specialists, he said, also need to determine if the donor has had any communicable disease, which can easily pass the trait to an unsuspecting receiver, whose immune system is practically jeopardized with the end stage renal failure.
Also, we need to get the donor’s medical history and make sure the new kidney matches: blood types, lifestyle, and all that, doctor surgeons explained.
Rumors spread over the social networks, text messages and word of mouth detailing kidnapping of kids.
Tales of heavily tinted vans, of people forcibly taking children walking in isolated places, all about allegations of kidnappings which end up with victims being robbed of their kidneys abounded then.
Human kidney is a delicate organ and this can’t be harvested in any way outside the laboratory medical environment, Dr. Abraham stressed.
Kidney lifespan is less than six hours when it is outside the proper temperature and conditions, Abraham said.
Beyond the six hours, a kidney becomes useless, agreed doctors performing kidney operations from Asia’s most respected organ transplant facility, the NKTI.
Doctors also bared that a National Renal Disease Registry keeps track of kidney patients in dialysis, organ transplants, nephrologists and accredited hospitals who are strictly scrutinized for mal-practices.
The NKTI boasts of a success rate comparable to international standards, that is 95% of its transplant patients survive after the very delicate 1 to six months after the operation and 85% to 90% of its patient kidney organ beneficiaries survive after six years.