A new NHS survey reveals that more than 50,000 lives are saved, due to organ transplants

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20th July 2017 13:00 - Health

A new NHS survey reveals that more than 50,000 lives are saved, due to organ transplants: NHS Blood and Transplant published statistics stating the number of transplants that has been made across England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland.

The number of transplants has increased by 20% in the UK, (a record 4,753), with the NHS stating that this is the first time the fifty thousand mark had been hit.A new NHS survey reveals that more than 50,000 lives are saved, due to organ transplants

The breakdown of transplants are as followed: 

Kidney - 36,300

Liver - 9,800 

Pancreas 1,900 

Intestine - 1,000 

Additionally, the survival rate after a kidney transplant in the 1990’s was 66%. This has recently risen to an incredible 87%, yet the NHS are still requiring more donors to join.

Currently, the total number of organ donors is 23.6million; with over 36% of people in the UK now signed up as organ donors - a 6% increase from the previous five years.

As reported in June 2017, Scotland are in the midst of a discussion about introducing a soft opt’-out system for organ donors, with England also opening up to the possibility.

The soft opt’-out system allows organ donors to actively opt’-out if they do not wish to be donate their organs – ultimately making it a lot easier families to abide by their loved one's wishes.

In Wales, The Human Transplantation (Wales) Act, (initiated in 2013 and put into effect in December 2015), was introduced to help increase the likelihood of organ donation and to make the decision process a lot easier for families, and the person involved.

Beforehand, if a person chose to do nothing with regards to donating their organs, they would be deemed as having no objection to donating their organs when they pass, (also known as ‘deemed consent’). However, the soft opt'-out system allows people to make the decision as to whether they would like to opt'-out, or opt'-in. 

Vaughan Gething, The Cabinet of Secretary for Health, Wellbeing and Sport, explains that the journey of organ donation is one that is complex, as: “consent is at a stage at which most donations are lost.”

In 2014, Organ Donation Wales revealed that: “250 [people] passed in a way that would have allowed them to become a potential organ donor.”

Additionally, under Wales’s old system, "43% of cases were invalid as families did not know whether their loved ones wanted to be an organ donor."

Nonetheless, recent statistics reveal that since The Human Transplantation (Wales) Act was put in place, there has already been an increase in the number of available organs; resulting to dozens more lives being saved. 

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