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So far since altruistic donations started over 250 donations have been made. That is amazing.

In the UK between 1 April 2012 and 31 March 2013:

  • 4,212 organ transplants were carried out, thanks to the generosity of 2,313 donors.
  • 1,160 lives were saved in the UK through a heart, lung, liver or combined heart/lungs, liver/kidney or liver/pancreas transplant.
  • 3,052 patients’ lives were dramatically improved by a kidney or pancreas transplant, 166 of whom received a combined kidney/pancreas transplant.
  • A further 3,697 people had their sight restored through a cornea transplant.
  • A record number of 749 kidney transplants from donors after circulatory death took place and accounted for one in four of all kidney transplants.
  • 1,068 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 130 kidney transplants between them.
  • Almost 1,012,000 more people pledged to help others after their death by registering their wishes on the NHS Organ Donor Register, bringing the total to 19,532,806 (March 2013).

 

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Altruistic kidney donations:

1st April – 31st March in each year

  • 2007-8   =  6 donations
  • 2008-9   = 15 donations
  • 2009-10 = 15 donations
  • 2010-11  = 28 donation
  • 2011-12  = 34 donations
  • 2012-13  = 76 donations

Since 1st April 2013 there have been 30 altruistic donations which is fantastic news.

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Kidney donation – altruistic

February 3rd

My first appointment at the hospital to meet the surgeon and have some initial tests done. It was during the heavy snows we had but luckily once I had got a few miles out from home, the snow thinned and travelling wasn’t a problem.

There had been some mix up with the appointments and I was in the book for 30 minutes after the time in the appointments letter. The hospital was also  running 1.5 hours late and I had arrived 30 minutes early!! No matter, it gave me time to read up on literature there and just watch and listen as to what was going on in the reception area. I was struck by the assortment of people there that had kidney problems … young, old, mothers, fathers, youngsters … it was a reminder than anyone, any age can be seriously ill and need help. I had time sitting there to think about the struggles some people have  to try and lead a normal life. It made me realise I have been very lucky in life as regards my health. Whatever I have had wrong with me has easily been treated. Not so for thousands of people. I am so glad I made this decision to donate.  Sometimes being kept waiting for an appointment has its advantages as in this case – it opened my eyes even wider.

I saw the surgeon first, very nice guy. Very friendly, smiley face and good sense of humour. I immediately felt relaxed in his company.

He made sure I knew exactly what it was I was offering to do and explained that a Doctor would be assigned to me to look after my interests.  I would go through a very thorough medical assessment.  I would also have a psychologist and psychiatric report made. The whole team needs to know that I fully understand what I will be doing. That I understand the procedure and what could go wrong etc etc.  Once I pass the medical tests and the psychiatric report, the details are then sent for approval. If I am approved as a suitable kidney donor, then I will be put on the database and once a suitable recipient is found, arrangements will be made for the transplant.  The evaluation process can be between 3 and 6 months, but they anticipate that once accepted it will be a very short time before they locate a suitable match.  

They would remove my kidney in this hospital and then safely transport it to whichever hospital the recipient is in.

The surgeon asked me about my medical history and my families. We have all been clear of major illnesses that might affect the donation.   The only down side was that I am overweight. I thought that might get mentioned!  lol ! I was weighed and although my BMI (Body Mass Index) was just within the acceptable limit, the surgeon did advise I try to lose some weight.  My current weight would not hold up the operation, but if I could lose some then that would assist the  surgery and also my recovery afterwards.

I then saw one of the transplant nurses. She asked more questions re medical history etc and then organised some  tests:

Blood pressure
Blood taken for tests (about 8 tubes used)
Heart Trace
Chest X-ray.

  It was also explained to me that during the very strict and thorough evaluation process, at any stage they could find out I am not suitable as a donor, so I also have to prepare myself for the disappointment of not being able to help someone.

My biggest worry at the moment is losing weight. I have an under active thyroid which piled the weight on a few years ago and losing it  is extremely hard – I never used to have a problem with being able to control my weight, but now it is a real battle.  

Please Pray that I pass the evaluation process with flying colours.

My next appointment is April 17th when I see the doctor … regarding what exactly not too sure, will have to wait and see.

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