Kidney transplant: the current situation in Portugal, 1989.

J R Pena


The modern treatment of renal failure has been one of the most exciting developments of modern medicine. Within this field the portuguese doctors had a performance that compares with the average developed countries. The number of patients that need haemodialysis and renal transplantation is still increasing. These treatments are very expensive. As the patients would die if not treated, this whole issue is a political concern and a public health problem. We give the demographic outline of this CRF patients group. Dialysis and transplantation should be in balance, with a particular stress on transplantation because it is much less expensive. Shortness of organ supply has been like elsewhere the most important limiting factor of renal transplantation. Some public controversy concerning brain death, permission, and commercial profit from organ donation, has been sometimes deleterious. We review the results of renal transplantation. In 1987 and 1988, 92% of transplanted kidneys had still function after one year. We conclude that our programs in Portugal can expand, on the condition that people keep their acceptance and give their support to transplanting teams.

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