02/04/2003

Rise in transplant waiting list sparks donor appeal

The latest figures from the office of the Transplant Co-ordinator in Belfast City Hospital have revealed that the number of people in the province awaiting organ transplants has risen.

Some 240 people are currently waiting for major organ transplants such as heart, kidney, liver or lungs - an increase of almost 60 people on this time last year.

The rise in waiting lists has prompted renewed calls for people to sign up as organ donors, especially close relatives of those on the kidney transplant waiting list to volunteer to donate a kidney.

With over 5,600 people on transplant waiting lists in the UK, over 400 patients died while waiting for transplants last year, and around one in ten awaiting a heart transplant will die.

In the UK less than 3,000 transplants are carried out each year.

In July 2000 UK Transplant was formed with an extended remit to increase organ donation rates.

(SP)

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