This summer Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust ran an organ donation campaign to help raise awareness of organ donation and to demonstrate the importance of signing-up to the register, whilst at the same time highlighting the fantastic work that is carried out by staff at the Royal Eye Infirmary and in the South West Transplant Centre based in Derriford Hospital.
Last year, a record number of 75 kidney transplants were carried out at Derriford Hospital – the highest number to have been carried out since the first transplant was performed at the hospital in 1973 and a 32% increase on the previous year.
Kidneys transplanted from living donors, who were either related or unrelated, accounted for 19 of these operations; the remainder were from deceased donors either heart beating or controlled non heart beating donor transplants. This is the fifth successive year that there has been an increase in the number of patients benefiting from the work of the South West Transplant Centre.
Since May 2007, it has been possible for altruistic donation to take place, whereby a person can donate a kidney to someone they do not know. 22 altruistic donor transplants have taken place nationally, three of which have been carried out in Plymouth, which given we are one of the smallest centres in the country, is a fantastic achievement.
There are more than 1.65m people in the South West currently on the organ donor register. However, in this region alone, there are 600 people waiting for a transplant so it is still vital that people continue to put their names forward and sign-up to the register.