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10.01.14

Organ donation has significantly improved outcomes

The past ten years have seen major advances in organ donation and transplantation, a new report from the UK National Transplant Registry shows.

The number of transplanted organ grafts functioning well for five years or longer has also increased. For operations between 2003 and 2005, the five-year survival rate was 84% for kidneys from donors who died after brain death (DBD).

Deceased organ donors have increased predominantly as a result of an increase in donors after circulatory death (DCD), however.

Other findings showed the donor population has become older and heavier, and the average number of organs retrieved from an individual donor has increased.

The ten year review, compiled by NHS Blood and Transplant’s Rachel Johnson, Lisa Bradbury, Kate Martin and James Neuberger on behalf of the UK Transplant Registry, stated: “Developments in organ preservation and retrieval, in surgical and anaesthetic management and postoperative care, immunosuppressant, and tolerance have all contributed not only to better outcomes but to making transplantation more accessible as surgeons accept older and higher risk recipients and as more contraindications (such as infection with hepatitis B virus or HIB) have been removed.”

They added: “Despite a recent fall in the number of patients on the transplant waiting list, there remains a significant gap between the need for transplantation and the number of organs available from deceased and living donors.”

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