A Maximal Covering Location Model for the Organ Transplant Organization in Turkey

A Maximal Covering Location Model for the Organ Transplant Organization in Turkey

Barış Özkan (Ondokuz Mayıs University, Turkey) and Eren Özceylan (Gaziantep University, Turkey)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-2581-4.ch004


Transplantation of the organs is one of the principal treatment techniques for the people who have critical organ issues. One of the main steps of this treatment is getting the organ as quickly as possible to its recipient from a potential donor. To provide the aforementioned treatment, the spatial distributions of the organ transplant centers which maximize the donors/patients coverage become essential. In this chapter, the organ transplant process of Turkey which has 99 transplant centers (hospitals) in 81 cities is considered. The main goal of this study is to maximize the donor/patient coverage within the system constraints. As a potential demand source, 923 districts are determined using geographic information system (GIS). With the application of maximal covering location model, the number of covered donors/patients is maximized considering the cold ischemia time of organs. Optimal results are obtained for different scenarios based on heart, liver, and kidney.
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Organ donation is the process when a person allows an organ of their own to be removed and transplanted to another person, legally, either by consent while the donor is alive or dead. Donation may be for research or, more commonly, healthy transplantable organs and tissues may be donated to be transplanted into another person. Organ transplantation has transformed the survival and quality of life of patients with end-organ dysfunction. According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, while every ten minutes, someone is added to the national transplant waiting list; approximately 22 people die each day waiting for a transplant in the United States. To solve this problem, organ transplantation has to remain its popularity. The total number of transplanted organ in world is continuously increasing since 2000 as shown in Figure 1. While 139,024 organs including kidney, liver, heart and etc. are transplanted in 2017, this number equals to 18.7 per million populations in the world.

Figure 1.

Total number of transplanted organ in the world

(GODT, 2019)

Living and cadaveric donors are the two main sources from whom organs are transplanted. While kidney and liver can be only donated by living donors; the process relies on cadavers for the hearts and lungs (Savaşer et al. 2009). Figures 2 and 3 show the number of worldwide deceased and living donors in 2017 for the top 20 countries, respectively (IRODaT, 2018). According to the Figures 2 and 3, while Spain ranks first by far in terms of number of deceased organ donors; Turkey is the top country in terms of number of living organ donors.

Figure 2.

Worldwide deceased organ donors (pmp)

(IRODaT, 2018)
Figure 3.

Worldwide living organ donors (pmp)

(IRODaT, 2018)

As shown in the aforementioned figures, organ transplantation is one of the important and successful treatment approaches for the people who have critical organ problems. A kidney transplant was the first ever organ transplantation in the world; and even in Turkey, the number of kidney transplants far exceeds those of other organs. In addition to kidney, heart, liver, pancreas and lungs are also needed in Turkey. One of the main steps of this treatment is getting the organ as quickly as possible to its recipient from the moment a potential donor is notified. The organ procurement organization should arrange the organs get ready for the patients when the donors are available. The scarcity of organ supply leads to life-challenging issues for the organ recipient. Therefore, the spatial distributions of organ transplant centers to maximize donor and patient coverage become essential (Rajmohan et al. 2017).

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