Kidney donations by strangers rising24th June 2009
Figures from the Human Tissue Authority have shown that 22 people have given a kidney to a stranger since the practice became possible in the UK two years ago.
The HTA described the figures as remarkable and its director of policy and strategy Vicki Chapman said: "We expected to see a small number of cases when we first started approving this type of transplant, but we did not expect to see the number rise so significantly after just one year.”
The HTA changed the rules in 2006 to allow people who were not related to become living donors and that saw 10 people come forward to offer their kidney in the first year with 15 in the second - three of which have still to undergo surgery.
She added: "Donating a kidney to someone you do not know really is an altruistic act; the medical tests take time and the procedure is not without risk.
"It is the role of the HTA to ensure that those giving so generously fully understand the risks involved."
Some 7,000 people are on waiting lists for kidneys in the UK.
In addition to the non-related living donors, rates of living donations among relatives increased from 961 in 2007/08 to 1,008 for 2008/09.
Evidence indicates the outcomes are better from living donations, the quality of the organ is usually higher and surgery can be planned in advance.
The charity Kidney Research UK welcomed the figures but said more still needed to be done to encourage organ donation.
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Title: Kidney donations by strangers rising
Author: Mark Nicholls
Article Id: 11871
Date Added: 24th Jun 2009