Health: Record-breaking year for transplant ops

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A record high of 3,740 transplants were carried out in the UK last year, NHS Blood and Transplant has announced in its Annual Activity Report 2010/11. This is the sixth year on year growth in the number of transplants.

“I am delighted that we have been able to continue to build on previous years’ work and more transplants than ever are taking place,” said Sally Johnson, director of organ donation and transplantation.

“But there is more we must do if we are to save the three people a day who are currently dying due to lack of a suitable organ.

“One step is for people to sign up to the NHS Organ Donor Register and to tell their families they wish to donate.”

Almost 675,000 people joined the NHS Organ Donor Register (ODR), bringing the total to 17,751,795 - or 29 per cent of the population by the end of March 2011. This is an increase of four per cent on the previous year’s total.

The number of patients registered for a transplant reduced slightly last year.

There were 7,800 patients waiting for a transplant at the end of March, and a further 2,783 were temporarily suspended from transplant lists.

Sally Johnson said: “Despite the encouraging increase in the number of transplants taking place the vital work of promoting organ donation must not stop as the need for organs is still greater than the number of donations.

“We will continue to work with doctors, nurses and others involved in looking after patients in hospital to help make donation a usual rather than unusual event in the UK.”