Transplants save lives
- Professor Sir Magdi Yacoub described
transplantation as "one of the great success
stories of the latter half of the 20th century".
- Surgeons have been saving the lives of dying
people through transplantation for more than 50
- The first successful transplant was
of a cornea on 7 December 1905 in what is now
the Czech Republic.
- The first major organ
transplant success involved the donation of a
kidney between living twins in Boston, USA, on
23 December 1954.
- The first heart
transplant was performed in South Africa in
1967, by Dr Christiaan Barnard.
are vital operations and their success depends
entirely on the generosity of donors and their
families who make this life-saving gift.
- The UK’s NHS Organ Donor Register was launched
in October 1994 and by April 2010 included the
names of over 17.1 million people who had
pledged to donate their organs for transplant
after their death.
Waiting and hoping
- More than 10,500 people need an organ transplant
in the UK.
- Last year (2009-10) a record
3,709 people’s lives were transformed by a
transplant. More than one in four of all
transplants are from living donors.
- Transplants are now so successful that many more
patients can be considered for treatment in this
- Advances in surgical skills and better
drugs mean that a year after surgery:
of kidneys in living donor transplants
of kidneys from people who have died
- 91% of
- 83% of heart transplants
- 79% of lung transplants
functioning well. These figures are improving
all the time.
- The median (average) waiting
time for an adult kidney transplant is 1,110
days. Children, who are prioritised in the
matching sequence, wait on average 277 days.
- Adults wait an average of 184 days for a heart
and 519 for a lung. Children wait an average of
93 days for a heart.
- Adults wait an
average of 149 days for a liver transplant,
while children wait an average of 86 days.
- About 1,000 people die every year in the UK
while waiting for an organ transplant or because
they become too ill to survive an operation and
are removed from the list.
Between 1 April
2009 and 31 March 2010:
- 3,709 organ
transplants were carried out, thanks to the
generosity of 2,021 donors.
- 2,739 patients’
lives were dramatically improved by a kidney or
pancreas transplant, 160 of whom received a
combined kidney/pancreas transplant.
lives were saved in the UK through a heart,
lung, liver or combined heart/lungs,
liver/kidney, liver/pancreas or heart/kidney
- A further 3,100 people had
their sight restored through a cornea
- Organs from 959 deceased donors
were used in the UK to provide 2,647
- A record number of 552
non-heartbeating donor kidney transplants took
place and accounted for one in five of all
- A record number of 99
non-heartbeating donor liver transplants took
place, a 24% increase on 2008-09.
one in four (more than 24%) of liver transplant
recipients were aged 60 or over, while patients
aged under six received over 8% of liver
- 33% of heart transplants were
given to patients under 18, while patients over
60 received 6% of all heart transplants.
- Patients with cystic fibrosis or fibrosing lung
disease received 40% of combined heart/lung and
- More than one in six
kidney transplants, including living donor
transplants, were received by people of minority
ethnic origin in the UK.
- Living donor
kidney transplants are increasing – 475 in
2004-05, 589 in 2005-06, 690 in 2006-07, 831 in
2007-08, 927 in 2008-09 and 1,038 in 2009-10 –
and now represent more than one in three of all
- 16 living donors gave a
kidney altruistically to unknown recipients.
- 32 living donors gave kidneys that were used
in ‘paired’ transplants.
- 23% of living
kidney donations in the UK were parent to child
and 27% were sibling to sibling.