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Sharp rise in kidney transplants
[Posted: Fri 11/03/2011 by Niall Hunter, Editor www.irishhealth.com]
The number of kidney transplants in Ireland increased sharply in the first two months of this year compared to the same period last year.
New figures from the National Renal Transplant Programme at Beaumont Hospital show that 44 kidney transplants were carried out in the first two months of 2011, six involving living related donors.
This compares with a total of 17 transplants in the same period last year; four involving living related donors.
Over this period, therefore, the total number of kidney transplants rose by 153% and the number involving deceased donors almost trebled.
Transplant programme Director Mr David Hickey said there can be considerable variation in the numbers of organs donated from month-to-month and from year-to-year. However, he said it was very gratifying to see that the number of willing donations was well up at the beginning of this year.
Mr Hickey said Ireland enjoyed a rate of voluntary organ donation well above average in the developed world.
The rate of deceased donation can be improved further by ensuring that willing donor families are identified and facilitated to the greatest possible extent throughout Ireland, he said.
The rate of renal transplant can also be improved by further expansion of the programme for living related donation, Mr Hickey added.
The new Government has pledged to change the current organ donation system to an 'opt-out' rather than the current 'opt-in' basis for organ transplantation.
It says allowing for a system for non-living donation whereby organs can be used after death unless people specify otherwise will improve the availability of organs for patients in desperate need.
Organ Donor Awareness Week takes place from April 7 to 9 this year.
Read more about Organ Donor Awareness Week here
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