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Organ transplants still fall short of other countries

Figures show that number of people receiving organ transplants has risen for the eighth consecutive year in UK, although it continues to fall short of other countries in the world.

A 10% rise between 2013 and 2014 saw 4,655 transplants being carried out and another successive year in which the number of procedures increased.

Despite this, a total of 456 people died last year waiting on the active transplant list, while another 828 people had to be removed from the waiting list due to deteriorating health conditions, making them ineligible to complete the surgery.

Authors of the Organ Donation and Transplantation Report admit that more can still be done to improve donation rates.

The authors said: ““Deaths among patients who are in need of a transplant will sadly be unavoidable while the consent /authorisation rate for deceased organ donation remains lower than many other countries in the western world.”

The report revealed that living donors of liver and kidney organs play a pivotal role in transplantation and the latter accounts for more than one-third of all kidney transplants.

There was also an increase in the number of living kidney donors giving an organ to an unknown patient, according to the report.

The authors of the report put the matter into perspective and showed the difficult task the UK has ahead.

They said: “Although the consent/authorisation rate increased slightly from 57% in 2012/13 to 59% in 2013/14, we have to make huge strides if we are to achieve the ambitious 80% target by 2020.”

 “Changing the behaviour of UK society towards organ donation is a tough challenge, but one everyone involved in organ donation and transplantation should embrace. We know that families are much more likely to agree to donating a loved one's organs when his or her wishes are known, so the more we can encourage people to sign up to the NHS Organ Donor Register and to discuss their decision to donate with their families, the better.”