News

50,000 alive due to organ donation, figures show

More than 50,000 people are alive thanks to organ donation, new figures show.
Donor_Card

More than 50,000 people are alive thanks to organ donation, new figures show.

Data from NHS Blood and Transplant for the UK show that the 50,000 barrier has been broken for the first time.

They show that about 50,300 people are alive today due to organ transplants, more than enough to fill Chelseas Stamford Bridge stadium and almost enough to fill Liverpools Anfield.

This includes 36,300 kidney transplant patients, 1,900 people who have received new pancreases, 3,900 people with new hearts or lungs or both, 9,800 with new livers and 1,000 who received new intestines.

Some patients have received more than one organ, such as a new kidney and a pancreas.

Sally Johnson, director of organ donation and transplantation for NHS Blood and Transplant, said specialist nurses in organ donation are now almost always involved in discussions with

More than 50,000 people are alive thanks to organ donation, new figures show.

Donar_Card
Picture: Press Association

Data from NHS Blood and Transplant for the UK show that the 50,000 barrier has been broken for the first time.

They show that about 50,300 people are alive today due to organ transplants, more than enough to fill Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge stadium and almost enough to fill Liverpool’s Anfield.

This includes 36,300 kidney transplant patients, 1,900 people who have received new pancreases, 3,900 people with new hearts or lungs or both, 9,800 with new livers and 1,000 who received new intestines.

Some patients have received more than one organ, such as a new kidney and a pancreas.

Sally Johnson, director of organ donation and transplantation for NHS Blood and Transplant, said specialist nurses in organ donation are now ‘almost always’ involved in discussions with families about organ donation.

Record number

Over the past five years there has been a 20% rise in yearly transplant figures to reach a record 4,753 in 2016-17.

The number of people on the NHS Organ Donor Register has also reached a record number of 23.6 million, up by 4.9 million over five years.

Just over one third of people (36%) are now on the register, compared with 30% five years ago.

‘More people than ever are agreeing to organ donation and that is saving more lives than ever,’ Ms Johnson added.

‘We are seeing more and more people committing to donation, and the good results of our close work with hospitals.

‘Families tell us donation is a source of pride that helps them in their grieving process.’

Shortage

The report also shows a widespread shortage of organ donors, however.

Some 457 people died last year while on the active transplant waiting list, meaning the donor organs they were ready to receive did not arrive in time.

A further 875 people were removed from the list, in most cases because they had become too ill to undergo transplant surgery.

There are currently 6,389 people on the active transplant list. About 3,000 more people need donors, but are currently suspended from the list because they are temporarily too ill to undergo transplants or are abroad.

But the study also shows that survival rates among people who have received transplants continue to improve.

In the early 1990s, there was a 66% chance that an adult who had undergone a common kidney transplant would still have a functioning organ after five years; this figure is now 87%.

Health minister Jackie Doyle-Price said: ‘These numbers show excellent progress, and are a testament to the brilliant work of NHS Blood and Transplant and all those involved.

‘Now we need more organ donors to come forward so that everyone requiring a transplant stands the best chance of receiving one.’


In other news

Sign up to continue reading for FREE

OR

Subscribe for unlimited access

Enjoy 1 month's access for £1 and get:

  • Full access to nursing standard.com and the Nursing Standard app
  • Monthly digital edition
  • RCNi Portfolio and interactive CPD quizzes
  • RCNi Learning with 200+ evidence-based modules
  • 10 articles a month from any other RCNi journal

This article is not available as part of an institutional subscription. Why is this?

Jobs