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Living kidney donor numbers hit eight-year low

08 March 2018 09:20

There has been a decline in kidney donation

There has been a decline in kidney donation

There has been a "worrying" decline in living kidney donation, according to health officials.

NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) said the number of living kidney donors has dipped to an eight-year low.

Living donors are people who donate one of their organs, usually a kidney, to someone in need.

While this sort of organ donation is usually to a friend or family, it can also include donating a kidney to a stranger, also known as altruistic donation.

Living donors 'a third of all transplants'

There were 990 living kidney donors during 2017, a 10% decline on the highest ever year, 2013, and the lowest figure since 2009, NHSBT said.

Altruistic kidney donation numbers have reduced from a high of 107 in 2013 to 87 in 2017, according to NHSBT, which released the figures to mark World Kidney Day.

A total of 261 people died waiting for a kidney transplant, it has been revealed. It's also been said that the decline was particularly concerning because living donation accounted for a third of all kidney transplants.

NHSBT is now appealing to people to consider donation while they are still alive.

Light at the end of the tunnel

After four years on the waiting list, 24-year-old Jade Carr from Cheshire received a kidney transplant from an anonymous altruistic donor last summer.

She said: "At times there never seemed to be a light at the end of the tunnel and the waiting was going on forever. A lot of people don't get their transplant and too many people die every day while waiting.

"There was always that thought that I might not get one. For someone to be an organ donor is incredible. There are not enough words to express how grateful I am to my donor."

NHS Blood and Transplant's lead nurse for kidney donation Lisa Burnapp said: "Last year, 261 people died waiting for a kidney transplant, and many of those lives could have been saved through increased living kidney donation.

"Living donation has been a major success story for the UK, with one in three patients receiving a kidney transplant from a living donor, so this decline is worrying.

"Anonymous altruistic donations are especially important because they can start transplant chains."

There are currently 6,298 people on the transplant waiting list, including 4,960 people waiting for a kidney.

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