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Costa Rica organ donors campaign launched

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Published on Tuesday, June 13, 2023
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff


Public hospitals require organ donors, so the Ministry of Health has launched its Organ Donation Campaign intending to find organ donors who voluntarily agree to donate their organs and tissues.


"Organ and tissue donation is an act of selfless love," said Mary Munive, Minister of Health.

Organ transplantation is a medical procedure that involves replacing a failing or damaged organ with a healthy organ from a deceased or living donor. 

The organ donation is a life-saving and life-enhancing treatment option for many people suffering from organ failure or certain medical conditions.

Deceased organ donors are individuals who have been declared brain dead or have experienced cardiac death. This donation typically occurs in hospitals, where medical professionals evaluate the suitability of organs for transplantation and coordinate the process with the consent of the donor's family, if necessary.

While living organ donors are individuals who choose to donate organs or tissues while they are still alive. In some cases, a living donor may donate a kidney, part of their liver, or a lobe of their lung to a family member, friend, or even a stranger in need. Living donor transplants can offer better outcomes and reduce waiting times for recipients.

The transplantation process is coordinated by specialized medical professionals and organizations responsible for the fair allocation of organs based on medical urgency, compatibility, and other factors.

The campaign allows a person to donate their organs to be transplanted to another person, either by consent while the donor is alive or dead with the assent of the next of kin.

In Costa Rica, organ donation is strictly regulated on the Law No. 9222 entitled "Human Organ and Tissue Donation and Transplant Law", which establishes the parameters for the development of this medical procedure in public and private hospitals.

According to the Ministry of Health, most of the donations and transplant procedures in the country are heart, lung, liver, kidney, cornea, musculoskeletal tissue, heart valves, skin, and bone marrow.

People can authorize to be organ donors, as well as express their refusal to carry out this process, using a declaration signed before the Ministry of Health.

During this week, the information campaign on organ donors, as well as how to set a signed declaration to refuse this procedure, will be taking place in most public and clinic hospitals, such as San Rafael in Alajuela Province, Max Peralta in Cartago Province, San Vicente de Paul in Heredia Province, San Juan de Dios, Mexico, Children and Calderón Guardia, these in San José Province, among many others.

Recently, the very first liver transplant from an adult living donor to another adult patient in Costa Rica was achieved at the Rafael Ángel Calderón Guardia Public Hospital.

The team of more than 40 specialists included surgeons, nurses, anesthesiologists, donation and transplant coordinators, among others. The surgery process took 19 hours to complete.

What have you heard about surgeries with living donors in your country?
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