Organ transplants 'on the rise'

Donor organ for transplant

Related Stories

The number of organ transplants is continuing to rise, but the UK still lags behind other countries, official figures show.

There were 4,655 transplants carried out in 2013-14 - a 10% rise on the year before and the eighth year in succession the numbers have gone up.

But the NHS Blood and Transplant data showed three people a day still died because of a shortage of donors.

By 2020 the NHS wants to increase the donor rate by more than 50%.

That would bring the UK in line with the best performing countries such as Spain.

The big push in recent years has been translating the number of people on the donor register - just over 20 million currently - into organs being made available.

Four in 10 families block organ donation after a loved one has died, despite them being registered as an organ donor.

Hospitals have increasingly been employing more specialist organ-donation nurses to approach and support bereaved relatives in hospitals to try to rectify this.

Transplant recipient Sophie Washington talks about the difference a new pancreas has made to her

Biggest problem

But Sally Johnson, of NHS Blood and Transplant, said it was also essential those signing up to the organ donor register let their families know and discussed it with them before death.

"Family refusal is our biggest problem and it's sad we lag behind some other countries in terms of consent," she said.

"We understand that families often have to consider donation in their darkest hour. So rather than wait for that moment, please ask yourself now whether you think it is right to accept people dying in need of a transplant in the UK?

"If we would accept an organ for ourselves or would want someone we love to be saved by a transplant shouldn't we be willing to donate too?"

Not all donations come from dead patients, however, with just over 1,000 of the transplants last year achieved by donations from living people, the figures showed.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More Health stories

RSS

Features

  • Shinji Mikamo's father's watchTime peace

    The story of the watch that survived Hiroshima


  • A man hangs a Catalan flag at his balcony near Barcelona in 2013Caledonia homage

    Who are the Europeans with an eye on the Scottish referendum?


  • Elephant Diaries - BBCGoing wild

    Wildlife film-makers reveal the tricks of the trade


  • Hamas rally in the West Bank village of Yatta, 2006Hamas hopes

    Why the Palestinian group won't back down yet


  • A woman dining aloneTable for one

    The restaurants that love solo diners


BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.