Transplants save lives

[as at November 2011 there had been 88 altruistic donors with the oldest being 82 years old and youngest 25 years old]

In the UK between 1 April 2010 and 31 March 2011:

  • 3,740 organ transplants were carried out, thanks to the generosity of 2,055 donors.
  • 1,008 lives were saved in the UK through a heart, lung, liver or combined heart/lungs, liver/kidney, liver/pancreas or heart/kidney transplant.
  • 2,732 patients’ lives were dramatically improved by a kidney or pancreas transplant, 156 of whom received a combined kidney/pancreas transplant.
  • A further 3,564 people had their sight restored through a cornea transplant.
  • A record number of 567 non-heartbeating donor kidney transplants took place and accounted for one in five of all kidney transplants.
  • 1,045 living donor kidney transplants were carried out accounting for more than a third of all kidney transplants. ‘Non-directed’ living donor transplants (also known as altruistic donor transplants) and paired and pooled donations contributed more than 60 kidney transplants between them.
  • Almost 675,000 more people pledged to help others after their death by registering their wishes on the NHS Organ Donor Register, bringing the total to 17,751,795 (March 2011).



4 Responses to “Organ donation statistics UK – year end March 2011”

  • Henry:

    Add another one to the statistics for altruistic donation! I am almost complete with my evaluation, will go onto next years stats I suppose.

    I have used your blog as my “bible” on my evaluation. So far very little has been different to how you describe although tests have been in different order, only to be expected. Fingers crossed the operation and recovery are as good as yours was. I do not really want to publicly talk about that aspect of it, can I contact you privately when I know a date. I would appreciate being in contact with someone who has been through it. It is hard speaking to people who do not know what you are on about. Totally understand if you do not take private conversations.

    You are truly an inspiration to all. I love your honesty and frankness. I listened to “The Choice” radio programme and have to admit, it did make me sit back and examine my own motives and also the emotional aspect which had not occurred to me. Thank you for making us aware that there is far more to deciding to donate than just wanting to.

    May I ask a personal question? Well I will ask, you do not have to answer. What, if anything, would have stopped you from donating once you had made your mind up you wanted to? Do you think you would have found it easy to turn round and tell the hospital you had changed your mind? I am not thinking of changing my mind, it is just something that I have wondered about, do people change their minds and how does that make them feel.

    Thank you for reading and thank you for sharing your story and thoughts with us. I cannot tell you just how much it has helped me over the months. I now just feel I needed to actually thank you.

    Best regards

  • Diane:

    Hi Henry,
    Thank you so much for reading my story and posting, really appreciate it.

    How exciting you are donating and getting near end of evaluation. Suddenly the long and sometimes frustrating wait seems far in the past.

    Of course you can contact me, just use the contact form top right of this page and let me know what email address to use. Don’t post it here. I know it would have so helped me if I had someone to talk to who had also donated, so I am only to pleased to be able to support you through the donation. I am flattered to be asked.

    There is a lot more to deciding to donate than just us wanting to. Emotions are an essential part of it all and we are placed for dealing with them.

    For me I am not very good dealing with bad emotions, not good at all. As long as I know what to expect then I can handle all that happens. This is why I had to look into what the emotional side would be both before, during and after. It would not have changed my mind about donating, just that I don’t like bad surprises, lol. Having the recipient being a non match was an aspect that I had not considered. One of the bad emotions that I did not come across during my researching. Had I been aware that could happen I would have handled it perfectly. As it was it caused me a lot of distress and upset and was quite a bit of a shock at the time, even now I get emotional if I go too deep into talking about it. Other things that could have caused some bad emotions were fine as I was aware they could happen. So I felt it very important to get the message across for people to examine in depth how they would react to certain circumstanced.

    What would have stopped me from donating? Had I not passed any of the evaluation test that would have prevented me from donating, but then the decision would have been taken out of my hands. If my family decided at any point that they felt they could not accept me doing this. My family will always come first and their feelings are paramount. Also I suppose had I found out some aspect of the donation process (that I did not know before) that concerned me and I could not get any satisfactory answers. Finally, I suppose had I not got great faith in all the Living Donor Team and the surgeons. I had not really thought about that question before but those are instances that might have prevented me from donating.

    Yes I would have found it easy to tell the donor team at the hospital because my reasons for pulling out would have been very valid and not anything that I could have predicted or had control over. It would have been a shame to pull out but I know the team would have understood and supported my decision.

    I believe if we are 100% sure of our decisions then courage is not needed to voice them even if at some point we have to change the decision due to change in circumstance. I have to say though the hospital was very good and would ask if I wished to continue. I was given every opportunity to pull out had I wanted. But at no time did I. I have no regrets at all about donating, I just wish I could donate again.

    Thank you so much for posting, I hope I have answered your questions okay. I look forward to hearing from you.

    All the best

  • Henry:

    Hello Di,
    Great response! Didn’t the hospital warn you that the recipient may not be a match and you would have to find another one? Did you feel you had let the recipient down? I have sent off the contact form as requested. Please do not feel obliged to respond if you have changed your mind.

    All the best to you and will let you know when I have a date.
    Best regards

  • Diane:

    Hi Henry,
    I’ve got your email.
    This was the first altruistic donation the hospital had done and so that would mean the first time a “stranger” was the recipient. As such I am not sure it occurred to them that the first two recipients would not be a match. Of coursre after the first one was not, then we all were prepared for the next. It could be that the hospital did warn me, early on in the procedings, and I just forgot or? No one was to blame for this and I can imagine how upset the recipient was. But at least anyone reading this post or my blog who wants to donate altruistically will now be warned that the first recipient selected may not be a match. Also, depending how ill the recipient is, it could be as the operation approaches they become too ill for the operation itself and so have to pull out and that would mean another recipient has to be found.

    I think because there is no end in sight when having evaluations done you cannot mark anything on the diary or do a countdown, it was just one day after another, one evaluation test after another. So when finally approval was given it was such a huge relief, I think I spent days with a permanent grin on my face and felt so elated, so the news that the recipient was not a match was totally out the blue and sort of burst the bubble. To me once approval had been given, it was now the start of something amazing that was about to happen to one unsuspecting lucky person, with no thought that it might be grabbed from them. Of course they would have been warned that they might not be a match I am told, even so must have been upsetting for them also.

    I Would just like to add here though, and this is for any altruistic donor in UK, that altruistic donors should not publicly give out the date of operation or really even month as would then be very easy for recipient to be identified and both donor and recipient privacy is paramount. Check with hospital first as to what you can or cannot give out in public. Really you don’t want to give out anything that could pin point when you are going to, or have already, donated.


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