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Organ donation inquiry

20th October 2010

An independent review into why the wrong organs were taken from 25 NHS donors in the UK has concluded that "avoidable errors" caused the mistakes.

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Sir Gordon Duff, the review's head, said the errors were the fault of malfunctioning computer software which was used by NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT).

He said up to 800,000 people may have had the details of which organs they wanted to donate incorrectly recorded.

Sir Gordon said in his report that NHSBT needed a safer system in the long term and should employ expert help to improve it.

There are more than 17 million people on the organ donor register and Sir Gordon said it was important for the NHSBT to redesign it as soon as they were able.

The errors in the register occurred when malfunctioning software was used to upload donor information from the Driver Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) to a new system.

The mistakes were only revealed last year when NHSBT started to send letters to donors to check which organs they wished to donate. Many donors contacted NHSBT to say there were mistakes in their data.

Sir Gordon Duff said: "People who generously agree to donate their organs should be reassured that the error has been dealt with effectively and that steps have been taken to minimise the risk of it happening again."

Public health minister Anne Milton said: "Organ Transplants are vital and I know that NHS Blood and Transplant will make sure such a situation never arises again."

 

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Article Information

Title: Organ donation inquiry
Author: Jess Laurence
Article Id: 16452
Date Added: 20th Oct 2010

Sources

The Telegraph
BBC News
Health Service Journal
digitalhealth

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