2017 will likely be a record year for ISMETT IRCCS, given the number of transplants already performed. In a little more than six months, the Sicilian center has performed 102 transplants, a record number for the institute, and comparable with the best international transplant centers. This result is even more important in view of the fact that the last two years have seen a dramatic drop in the number of organ donations in Sicily. In 2015, Sicily reported the lowest rate of organ donations in Italy, with just 9.8 donors per million people. Last year, at the end of June, ISMETT had performed only 47 transplants.
This year, 48 liver (including 1 living donor), 39 kidney (2 living donor), 10 heart, 4 lung, and 1 combined kidney-pancreas transplant have already been performed at ISMETT.
“The donation and transplantation activity of the first semester of 2017 shows record data that have never been seen in the history of Sicily,” says Bruna Piazza, director of the Regional Transplant Center. “This excellent goal was achieved thanks to the extensive experience of all the professionals working in the regional and national transplant networks, and who have achieved such high levels of synergy to guarantee these results. A great round of applause is due to all the professionals involved, with the hope that these numbers can become routine.”
ISMETT was created in 1997 from an international partnership between the Region of Sicily and UPMC (University of Pittsburgh Medical Center). Since the beginning of its clinical activity, more than 1,900 organ transplants, including 207 pediatric and more than 300 living donor (liver and kidney), have been performed at ISMETT. Almost 5% of ISMETT patients come from other Italian regions, and about 2% from other nations.
“This year we strengthened our ability to attract international patients, especially pediatric patients, not only from Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Latin America, but also from northern Europe, from such countries as Sweden and Denmark,” said ISMETT Director Angelo Luca. “As a matter of fact, they recognize our institute as a center of excellence in the field of transplantation and highly-specialized therapies.”