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Increase in organ transplants

9th July 2014

The number of organ transplants is still rising, but official figures show that the UK's numbers are behind other countries.

bloodtransfusion1There were over 4,600 transplants carried out in 2013/14 - 10% more than the year before and the eighth year in a row the figures have risen. However, official data showed that three people still die each day due to shortages.

The NHS want to increase the donor rate by more than 50% by 2020.

Problems

In recent years, the challenge has been converting those on the donor register - over 20 million - into organs available.

Sally Johnson, of NHS Blood and Transplant, said: "Family refusal is our biggest problem and it's sad we lag behind some other countries in terms of consent." Figures show that 40% of families block the donation of the organs of their recently deceased loved one - against their will.

She also said that it was important for organ donors to discuss their decisions with their families before death.

Solutions

The NHS have increased the number of specialist organ donation nurses, who support bereaved relatives through the organ donation process.

Not all donors are dead patients, however, with just over 1,000 of the transplants last year from living people.

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