23 August 2012
Record number of organ transplants continues
In a record-breaking year, 3,960 transplants were carried out in the UK in 2011/12, NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) announced today. The Organ Donation and Transplantation Activity Report 2012 shows the seventh year of growth in the number of transplants.
The number of deceased organ donors continues to increase, 1,088 last year - up 8% on the previous year.
Sally Johnson, Director of Organ Donation and Transplantation at NHSBT, said: "Since 2007/08, our efforts have been concentrated on getting the right infrastructure in place and working with our partners in hospitals throughout the UK to change clinical practice and give more people the opportunity to donate their organs.
Huge efforts have been made in hospitals to increase deceased organ donation and the Report for 2011/12 details the continuing, overall upward trend in organ donation and transplantation. We remain on target to meet our objective of 50% growth in donation by 2013."
Other notable figures from the report include:
- A 2% increase in the donors after brain death (DBD)
- The sharp rise in donation after circulatory death (DCD) has been sustained, with a 17% increase last year.
- Living organ donors continue to play a vital role, making up half of all donors - 1,009 last year.
- an increase of 15% in the number of pancreas transplants
- an increase of 12% in the total number of liver transplants
- an increase of 6% in the total number of cardiothoracic organ transplants
- an increase of 4% in the total number of kidney transplants
- A further increase in cornea donation in 2011/12, bringing the total increase in the past three years to 42%. Currently, corneal tissue is available on demand
The total number of people registered on the Organ Donor Register was 18,693,549 - or 30% of the population - by the end of March 2012. This is an increase of nearly 950,000 people on the previous year.
Mrs Johnson added: "This report shows that things are moving in the right direction but three people on the waiting list are dying every day without receiving a transplant.
We need to carry on making people aware of the difference they can make by signing up to the Organ Donor register and discussing their wishes with their family and friends.
The family refusal rate for organ donation in the UK is one of the highest in Europe at 45% and we know a large part of that is down to people not discussing their wishes with their families."
Health minister Simon Burns said: "I'm pleased to see that organ donation is increasing but we always need more donors.
"A greater number of lives can be saved if more people sign up to the register. There are more ways than ever before to enrol and it's important that people tell their family if they want to be a donor."
For additional information or to request an interview please contact the press office by calling 01923 367600.
For out of hours enquiries please call: 0117 969 2444
Notes to editors
- NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) is a joint England and Wales Special Health Authority. Its remit includes the provision of a reliable, efficient supply of blood and associated services to the NHS in England and North Wales. It is also the organ donor organisation for the UK and is responsible for matching and allocating donated organs.
- In 2007/8 the Organ Donation Taskforce made 14 recommendations, which if implemented together, is believed would lead to a 50 % increase in organ donation in the UK within five years.
- Contact the press office to request a copy of the Organ
Donation and Transplantation Activity Report 2012.