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UK organ donation up by 50% in the last 4 years

April 13, 2013
Organ donation has been making headline news since it was announced that organ donors in the UK are up by 50% compared to 2008. For Professor Anthony Warrens, Consultant Nephrologist at the Physicians’ Clinic and specialist in organ transplantation the announcement has meant a busy start to April. As newly elected President of The British Transplantation Society, he has been in constant demand for interviews and comment from major media outlets, including the BBC. “This is very big news indeed. Four years ago, the Organ Donation Taskforce made a commitment to increasing organ donation in the UK by 50% and that target has been met. Across the UK, the increase is 49.8%, but there are regional differences with increases of 49.1% in England, 15.6% in Wales, 74.1% in Scotland and 81.8% in Northern Ireland” explains Professor Warrens.

What is the British Transplantation Society?

  • A learned society formed in 1972 that acts as the voice of health professionals that work in the field of organ transplantation.
  • Its members include physicians and surgeons but also nurses, research scientists, pharmacists and other types of health professional who care for people having organ transplants.
  • The British Transplantation Society runs regular meetings, conferences and workshops that provide professional training.
The strength of the society lies in the commitment from people from all sorts of different medical specialties who work together for the benefit of patients,” says Professor Warrens, who became the society’s President in March 2013 after acting as Vice-President for the last two years. Find out more about The British Transplantation Society

A significant achievement

Professor Warrens was pleased at the response of the media, who have helped publicise the increase in organ donations. “Four years ago, organ donations made it possible to carry out 800 organ transplants – this year that number rose to 1,200, which is a fantastic achievement,” he stresses. Many different people are responsible, including specialist nurses who approach grieving families who have lost a loved one in traumatic circumstances. “The families who do make the decision to let their relative’s organs go to improve or save someone else’s life are incredibly brave and without them, the rise in available organs would just not have happened,” adds Professor Warrens. Some of the bravest use their experience to raise awareness of the desperate need for continued organ donation. Some thought-provoking statistics:
  • Three patients in Britain die each day on the waiting list for a transplant.
  • For every organ donated, only one in four patients will get the transplant they need.
  • Around 7,300 people are currently waiting for a transplant and 6,000 of them are waiting for a new kidney.
  • Someone who donates their organs for transplant after they die provide different organs for different recipients, who gain an aggregate of 56 years of extra life.

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