There are major issues with liver transplants in Costa Rica. 40% of liver transplant patients die and 25% of the patients die in the first-month post-operation. Of the 144 patients who had this surgery in the last twelve years, 35 died in the first month, 18 after the first year, 4 after three years, and one five years after the operation. In Hospital Mexico, 45% of the patients die after this surgery. In the National Children’s Hospital, 52% of children die following this surgery.
When looking at figures worldwide, we see that the acceptable post-transplant mortality rate during the first month should be less than 9%.
The Caja’s whole transplant program is in crisis and is under a sanitary order by the Ministry of Health. The coordinator of the institutional transplant program recently resigned. Following the sanitary order, the CCSS agreed to resume payment to the transplant teams who were expected to work voluntarily before.
It’s been found by auditors that technical standards are lacking. The management has been asked to bring in an international transplant specialist. There is also the question of the learning curve for surgeons being that they only do 13 liver transplants per year in the whole country. Maybe they should be trained in countries that do these all day every day.