11 Transplants in 48 Hours: ISMETT Sets Another Record

By: Francesca Valagussa

UPMC-managed ISMETT, located in Palermo, Italy, recently broke another record, completing 11 transplants in just over 48 hours. Never before had a series of transplants been performed in such close proximity at the facility.

Nearly 100 people – doctors, nurses and medical staff – were involved in the surgeries for 48 consecutive hours, along with the staff of the Regional Transplantation Center that coordinated the entire operation. Five surgical teams worked in the five operating rooms at ISMETT, where they performed three liver transplants, five kidney transplants, a lung transplant, a heart transplant and a living-donor liver transplant on a 10-month-old boy.

“What we achieved here is extremely rare and exceptional, marking a new record for ISMETT,” said Dr. Angelo Luca, director of ISMETT. “We set in motion an extraordinary chain of events with results that confirm the high standards of quality and care achieved by the Sicilian health care system, responding in the most effective way for patients on the waiting list for an organ.”

All patients were from Sicily, except the 10-month-old child, who came from the Campania region of Italy. Because of a condition causing obstruction of the bile ducts that can lead to terminal liver failure, the child was immediately evaluated for organ donation from a living donor. After receiving a portion of his father’s liver, the boy, like his father, is recovering well.

ISMETT is the most active center in Italy for pediatric living-donor liver transplantation.

“ISMETT has achieved many significant goals in the more than 20-year partnership between UPMC and the Region of Sicily, and this feat confirms ISMETT’s international standing as a leading transplant center,” added Dr. Bruno Gridelli, executive vice president, UPMC International, and managing director of UPMC in Italy. “These 11 transplants, which occurred during such a difficult time for our country and the world, are further evidence of the value of this public-private partnership, which, in collaboration with the Ri.MED Foundation, fosters clinical and research excellence in Sicily.”