South East Wales

Cardiff top for kidney donations, research finds

Donor card
Image caption Last year 373 people died while waiting for a transplant in the UK

Cardiff is the most charitable region in the UK when it comes to kidney donation after death, research has found.

The University of Cambridge study had surveyed critical care units across Britain.

Last year 373 people died while waiting for a transplant in the UK.

In two years Wales will become the first UK nation to introduce a system where people will be presumed to have agreed for their organs to be donated.

"The aim was to look at the scale of organ donors," said Dominic Summers, from the Department of Surgery at the University of Cambridge, the author of the report.

"Donations, and transplants have increased significantly over recent years and we wanted to look at further improvements," he told BBC Radio Wales.

Mr Summers said the most significant finding of the study was the difference in donation rates across the various areas but it did not look at the reasons behind the differences.

Transplant rates

"Despite the increases that have been over recent years there is still a very significant shortage of donors," he said.

"The average wait for transplant is three years, and around 400 people a year die whilst waiting for a kidney transplant," he added.

In two years Wales will become the first UK nation to introduce a system where people will be presumed to have agreed for their organs to be donated.

The Welsh government hopes that a change in the law will increase transplant rates by 25%.

A campaign to inform people about the changes has already begun.

Mr Summers said it would be "very interesting to see what happens in Wales", when the changes come in.

"If it should prove to be successful I'm sure there will be plans to introduce it across the rest of the UK.

"We have looked at this question across the rest of Europe to see whether or not changes in the law has led to increases in donation rates and so far the evidence is pretty mixed.

"We know that the time around donation is a very difficult time for families and that is why we want to make sure that everybody who an is given the opportunity to donate.

"We strongly recommend that people take about this with their family and make their wishes known, and join the organ donation registry," he added.

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