Belfast City Hospital's five kidney transplants in single day equals UK record

image copyrightPA
image captionSurgeons said the five patients were all home within eight days of their surgery

A Belfast hospital has carried out five kidney transplants in a single day to equal a UK record.

Surgeons at Belfast City Hospital fell just one short of the world record of six in 24 hours, held by a US hospital.

The first transplant began at 01:30 BST on Sunday 13 September and the last finished at 23:00 that evening.

The five people, aged between 41 and 56, were on long-term dialysis with end-stage kidney failure from a range of causes, including type 1 diabetes.

They are Audrius Orinas, from Dungannon in County Tyrone, Aidan Murtagh, from Newry in County Down, John Finnigan, from Cushendall in County Antrim, Fiona Anderson, from Garvagh in County Londonderry, and John McGinley, from Londonderry.


Mr McGinley, 41, had suffered kidney failure six years ago due to high blood pressure.

"I got the call on the Saturday and was told to come [to the hospital]," he said.

image captionJohn McGinley said he "couldn't believe" he had been involved in the equalling of the transplant record

"I waited eight hours and they took me down to theatre at 12 o'clock.

"I woke up at half-five in the morning and couldn't believe it was over."

He and the other recipients were told of the record a few days after their surgery.

"I just smiled about it. Me involved in a record? I couldn't believe it."


Transplant surgeon Tim Brown said the patients had "received a phenomenal gift allowing them to undergo a dramatic life transformation".

"All five were home within eight days of their surgery, off dialysis and back to a more normal life," he said.

"Our thoughts and heartfelt gratitude go out to each of the donor families."

image captionDr James McDaid praised the hospital's staff for their efforts in equalling the UK record

His colleague James McDaid said: "When you consider the relative size of Northern Ireland versus the US, to be just one transplant off the world record represents surprising throughput.

"We're used to doing one a week - this was five in a day, so it's something quite extraordinary.

"It just so happened that the five people at the top of the waiting list were from Northern Ireland, so they got lucky."


Belfast Health and Social Care Trust was allocated five kidneys from across the NHS on Saturday 12 September.

The five recipients were called to the hospital that evening and were prepared for surgery after work to ensure they were a match for the kidneys.

Mr McDaid performed three procedures, with Mr Brown and Mr Mohie Omar doing the other two.

A team of 14 doctors, 20 nurses and three scientists were involved.

Several operating theatre nurses came into work on their day off to help facilitate the huge surgical undertaking.