Number of heart transplants in Scotland triples in a year

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Media captionDoctors said the number of donors had been rising significantly

The number of people receiving a heart transplant in Scotland has tripled within a year, figures have shown.

A total of 24 heart transplants were carried out in 2013, compared with just eight the year before.

The number of people who became donors also increased - rising by nearly a third - from 86 to 113.

Health Minister Michael Matheson paid tribute to the "generosity and thoughtfulness" of those who had donated their organs.

They enabled 331 people to receive a transplant last year, 24 of whom received a new heart.

Doctors at the Scottish National Advanced Heart Failure Service (SNAHFS), at the Golden Jubilee Hospital in Clydebank, said there had also been considerable improvement in the success of the operations.

Prof Nawwar Al-Attar, surgical lead for SNAHFS, said: "These figures confirm that the strategy put in place by the Golden Jubilee team is working to ensure that patients in Scotland whose lives are threatened or disabled by heart failure receive the best care and treatment options."

'Working hard'

Mark Petrie, director of SNAHFS, added: "Since 2007, the number of organ donors in Scotland has significantly increased, which is fantastic as it has allowed us to help more people than ever before.

"However, moving forward, there is a need to have a further increase in this number to ensure we meet the need of everyone requiring heart transplantation."

The rise in transplants follows a UK-wide review of organ donation and efforts to increase the number of organs available.

The Scottish health minister said: "In Scotland we have been working hard to ensure that we can honour the wishes of as many as possible who wish to become organ donors.

"These figures show how successful we have been and that more and more people in Scotland are receiving the transplants they so desperately need."

Mr Matheson added: "To ensure we can continue to carry out more transplants and reduce the number of people waiting for an organ, we need more people in Scotland to join the NHS Organ Donor Register and make their wishes known to their friends and family."

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