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Living kidney donation milestone

Wednesday September 21st, 2016

More than 500 people have become living kidney donors since it became possible ten years ago, it was announced today.

There is an ongoing need for these 'non-directed altruistic donations', says Lisa Burnapp, lead nurse for living donation at NHS Blood and Transplant.

She said that nearly three hundred people died waiting for a kidney transplant in 2015.

"Living donation is highly successful, and hundreds of people have had their lives saved and transformed in reaching this milestone over the past decade, thanks to the incredible generosity of these donors," she says.

The organisation is now calling for more people to act as a living donor for unknown recipients, to make up the shortfall in organs from deceased donors. The process involves several months of physical and psychological tests to make sure they are safe to donate. Possible matched recipients are then identified by NHS Blood and Transplant, and the transplants can generate 'transplant chains'.

Ms Burnapp says: "Through donor chains, up to three can people benefit from a single donation because it can trigger a chain of transplants. The more people who are willing to consider donating in this way, the more kidneys there are available to help everyone waiting for a transplant."

Fiona Loud of the British Kidney Patient Association added: "The generosity of living donors is absolutely fantastic; we and the patients we support are very grateful for the gift of life which organ donation gives.

"The altruistic programme has transformed lives by giving more kidney patients the chance of a transplant and we are delighted that this important milestone has been reached. We hope it will continue to encourage more living donors and more kidney transplants."

Tags: Internal Medicine | NHS | Transplant | UK News

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