Organ Donation and Transplantation Activity Report 2013/14

This year's National Transplant Week heralds another record year for organ transplantation - but more families need to agree to donation to stop people in the UK dying without a transplant.

2013/14 was another record year for organ donation and transplantation in the UK, with more than 4,600 transplants (4,655) carried out for the first time ever.

The figures show a 10% increase on the number of transplants performed in the last financial year. The Organ Donation and Transplantation Activity Report 2013/14 published during National Transplant Week shows 1,146 of the transplants were made possible by living donors who gave a kidney or part of their liver, while 3,509 patients benefitted from organs donated after death.

Despite the increases in the number of people benefiting from a transplant, around three people die each day across the UK due to a shortage of organs.

NHS Blood and Transplant, the organisation that published the report and leads organ donation across the UK, believes there needs to be a revolution in society's attitudes towards organ donation if more lives are going to be saved through transplantation.

The deceased donor transplant rate in the UK is currently 54.9 per million population, up from 49 per million population last year. The strategy Taking Organ Transplantation to 2020: a UK strategy set out an aim last year to increase the deceased donor transplant rate to 74 per million population to match the best countries in the world by 2020. Last year's increase keeps us on track to meet this target. If the UK can achieve it, many more hundreds of lives could be saved by deceased donor transplants.

Consent/authorisation for donation is vital to saving lives through transplantation, but the percentage of families agreeing to organ donation in the UK still remains stubbornly low. Last year more than four out of ten families approached about organ donation said no to donating a loved one's organs.

This year's National Transplant Week had a simple slogan 'Spell It Out', which urged us all to tell those closest to us whether we want to be an organ donor.

Figures published in the Organ Donation and Transplantation Activity Report reveal that families are much more likely to agree to donation going ahead if they know it is what their loved one wanted.

Last year, more than nine out of ten families said yes when their loved one's decision to donate was known, for example either via the NHS Organ Donor Register or via a previous discussion with them about organ donation. But even when their decision is known, more than one in ten families do not go ahead with donation, denying their loved one what they wanted.

NHS Blood and Transplant's Director of Organ Donation and Transplantation, Sally Johnson, said:

"We are truly grateful to the families of the 1,320 deceased donors and to each of the 1,146 living donors who made transplants possible last year. Their donations ensured that for the eighth year in succession, the number of people benefitting from an organ transplant increased.

"However, we cannot be complacent. Despite year-on-year increases in activity, the UK can and must do more to save and improve lives through organ donation and transplantation. Family refusal is our biggest problem and it's sad we lag so far behind some other countries in terms of consent/authorisation rates to donation. The truth is every potential donor is precious and whenever a family cannot bring themselves to donate; patients waiting for an organ may die.

"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?

"If you decide donating is the right thing to do, please sign up to be a donor and spell out your wishes to those closest to you. Then, should the time come, your family will know you want to donate your organs to help to save others."

More than 20 million people across the UK have now made the decision to donate their organs after death by signing up to the NHS Organ Donor Register. Though just signing the register is not enough. People who want to be organ donors after death need to make their wishes known to their next of kin and save them having to make that decision themselves at such a difficult time.

The full Organ Donation and Transplantation Activity Report 2013/14 can be viewed here

If every visitor to this site registers as a donor that could save 9 lives. If every visitor has 50 friends and encourages their friends to visit this site and register that could save 450 lives."Everyone needs to discuss Organ Donation"

The importance of Organ Donation should not be misunderstood. It does not just SAVE a life , it impacts on spouses, children, grand children, brothers , sisters , wider family and friends. "Everyone needs to discuss Organ Donation"

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