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QCOSTARICA – Costa Rica’s public hospitals have given the gift of life to 11 patients during the first half of this month.

According to authorities of the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social (CCSS) sa, this proves the organ donation network is working, after improvements were made to the system.

The donations – three liver transplants and eight kidneys – were made in the provinces of Cartago, Guanacaste and San José, benefiting patients in the Mexico, Calderón Guardia and San Juan de Dios hospitals.

“The efforts of the Caja in training staff in organ and tissue procurement have helped improve communications when a cadaveric donation opportunity presents itself,” said technical coordinator of the  Programa Institucional de Donación y Trasplantes, Marvin Agüero Chinchilla.

The Caja says 753 people are waiting organ transplants, including two for  a new heart and 45 for new kidneys, 146 for a new liver, and 560 need a cornea.

Caja medical director, María Eugenia Villalta Bonilla, highlighted that efforts made by the institution to obtain donations of organs, tissues and cells.

Villalta said that the efforts have resulted in 9.154 people have publicly expressed their willingness to donate in person or online by way of the registration system created by the Caja.

Marvin Agüero explained that Costa Rica is one of the most successful countries in the area of organ transplants.

He said that more than 80% of transplant patients are still alive after five years of the surgery, having an average lifespan of 15 years, some exceeding 21 years.

To register as an organ donor, visit the CCSS website at www.ccss.sa.cr/donar.


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