Figures from 22 countries show an average decrease of 15 percent in the number of transplant operations worldwide during COVID-19.
A new study says that the number of organ transplants performed worldwide dropped significantly during the first year of the coronavirus pandemic.
The research was conducted by the Italian European Society for Organ Transplantation in Italy and was published in The Lancet medical on Monday journal, analyzed data from 22 countries and noticed an average decrease of 15 percent in the number of transplant operations worldwide.
The first wave of the pandemic has had a devastating impact on the availability of transplants in many countries, affecting waiting lists and leading to a significant loss of life, said the report’s lead author, Olivier Aubert, of the Paris Transplant Group.
The study includes all kidney, liver, lung and heart transplants performed during the COVID-19 outbreak, and compares the figures with the year before the pandemic began.
Organ transplants fell particularly sharply in Japan (with 67 percent), Croatia and Hungary (both with 37 percent), the United Kingdom (with 31 percent) and Brazil (with 29 percent).
In contrast, the authors find little change for Switzerland, with only about 1 percent fewer transplants. A relatively small decrease was also recorded in the United States (by 4 percent), Norway (by 7 percent) and Canada (by 10 percent).
In Germany, doctors transplanted nearly 330 fewer organs from the beginning of the first wave to the end of the year, compared to the same period in 2019 — a drop of 11 percent.
According to the research, scientists expect that “a strong number of live donor transplants will take place in countries where COVID-19 infection rates remain under control and the childbirth measures introduced by public authorities are relaxed”.