Polish transplantology in numbers

3 listopada, 2023 * olahola
Hi! As announced, today a little bit in a different form. I’m going to show you figures for transplantology in Poland. It will be much easier for us to imagine the scale of the phenomenon when, instead of a single olihola, we have the numbers in front of our eyes, which will allow us to see the bigger picture. I’m going to focus on kidney transplantation, but I’m citing sources so you can look there, or suggest that I show more charts in future posts:)

Let’s start with the number of dialysis patients in Poland by the end of 2021: 19 416

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is considered the disease of civilization in the 21st century. Of course, dialysis is for patients in the final stage, but worldwide studies indicate a 9-15% prevalence of this disease in the population. I throw in as a curiosity, and for some a motivation to go for research:)

Let’s see, using 2022 as an example, how many patients on the National Waiting List (KLO) for kidney transplantation are added on average (per year): 1111. Important: the number below is not equivalent to the number of people on dialysis, these are people who have completed all the tests that allow them to be an approved recipient.

Source: Poltransplant bulletin 2023

In comparison, the year 2021:

Source: Poltransplant bulletin 2022

But right away… I caught an inaccuracy here

The above shows that:
– At the end of 2021 there were a total of 984 qualified people on the active list + 1111 new people in 2022 = 2095 people -that’s how many should be on KLO at the end of 2022
– 2095 – (777+73) transplants in 2022 = 1245 people on KLO at the end of 2022 

1245 people who „should be” on KLO – 1119 people who are on the register according to the Bulletin = 126 ???? 

Where does this difference come from? Thanks to the help of the ever-reliable Agnieszka (yes yes, you already deserved individual thanks!) we came to some conclusions. The smaller number of qualified people may be due to:
– Temporary exclusion from the active list
– Overdue examinations (in order to be active on KLO you need to have all examinations updated every year, any delays result in removal from the list)
– Surgery (if you undergo surgery /such as a transplant in which the kidney did not take/ while being active on KLO, you will be excluded from it for 3 months)
– Permanent disqualification due to other medical conditions 
– Withdrawn consent for transplantation (e.g., psychological aspect, cancer)
– Death

Below is a table that confirms our assumptions:)

Source: Poltransplant bulletin 2021

Other interesting results to show is the number of actual deceased donors, and the spread of their ages:

Source: Poltransplant bulletin 2023

As we can see covid has had a negative impact on the number of donors, but the trend is upward and I hope it will remain so:) 

That’s it for today. I make no secret of the fact that I left myself some interesting results for the future (for example, how Poland compares with the world in the number of transplants performed or what can exclude the donor even after consent). I really enjoyed writing this post. A little bit because I expected worse results, and a little bit because it’s nice to go beyond basic patient knowledge. However, my main motivation was to show you that a will ruling or a conversation with loved ones about organ donation matters. You have a real impact on someone’s life… And a really positive one at that. As I have shown it is not too early or too late to have such a conversation. Give life after life:)

Take care.
Olahola xo
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