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Organ transplants hit record high

4th November 2010

Organ transplants in the UK have risen by 5% over the previous 12 months.

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Figures show there were a record 3,706 organ transplants in the last year but the NHS Blood and Transplant remains concerned there is still a long waiting list with three people a day dying because of a lack of a suitable organ.

However, despite a campaign to increase organ donation in the UK since 2008, this country is still behind many European countries in the number of donor organs available.

With a key problem being the refusal of relatives to allow donation, the British Medical Association has renewed its call for a system of presumed consent where it is assumed people will donate their organs unless they specify otherwise.

Sally Johnson, director of Organ Donation and Transplantation at NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT), said: “We have made huge improvements to the way we work in hospitals. I'm glad these changes are reaping real rewards, with so many lives saved.”

But she added: “Our work to promote the importance of organ donation must not stop as the need is increasing despite the rise in the number of transplants.”

There are about 8,000 people on the waiting list for organ donations.

The number of people on the UK donor register is now more than 17 million and last year the number of deceased donors reached 959 last year, with some donating several organs. There were also 1,061 living donations.

Public Health Minister Anne Milton called for more people to sign the donor register.

 

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