West Norfolk residents urged to consider organ donation on World Kidney Day

Charity officials have urged people in West Norfolk to consider becoming kidney donors in a bid to coincide with World Kidney Day today.

It is estimated that at least 20 patients across the county are currently waiting for a new kidney, out of more than 4,500 nationwide, and there are fears that those numbers are rising rapidly.

NHS Blood and Transplant officials say that although transplant activity is now recovering after Covid, many patients will have to wait longer than they could have.

World Kidney Day asks people to think about their organ donation plans. (55347681)

The organization says the total number of kidney transplants fell by almost a third in 2020-2021 compared to the previous year, with the number of living donors falling by 60%.

This means around 1,100 fewer patients received kidney transplants in 2020/21, compared to the previous year. In living donor transplantation, 422 patients benefited instead of the usual 1,000 and there were 500 fewer deceased donor transplants.

At present, official NHS waiting lists are lower than usual, due to the risks associated with coronavirus for patients who live with weakened immune systems.

World Kidney Day asks people to think about their organ donation plans.  (55347676)
World Kidney Day asks people to think about their organ donation plans. (55347676)

But the organization fears that once these groups are included on the list again, the total number of people needing a new kidney could well exceed 7,000 nationwide.

Anthony Clarkson, Director of Organ and Tissue Donation and Transplantation for NHS Blood and Transplant, said: “We know the pandemic is a very worrying time for kidney patients, as thousands of people, including 20 patients in Norfolk, are waiting for a life-changing kidney. transplant.

“We are pleased that transplant activity is resuming and we are doing everything possible to allow as many transplants as possible to take place as quickly as possible.

“Unfortunately, patients are facing a longer wait and more people are in need of kidney transplants, so it’s more important than ever for the people of Norfolk to share their organ donation decision with their family to help others after their death.

“And if anyone in Norfolk is willing to consider living kidney donation, they can find out more on our website.”

People can donate a lifetime kidney to a specific person, relative, friend or someone they know who needs a transplant, or choose to donate anonymously where their kidney will go either to a high priority patient on the transplant list or create a chain of transplants through the UK Living Kidney Sharing Scheme.

The NHS Blood and Transplant advises that some people will not be suitable for living donation, so the majority of kidney patients will still be saved by a deceased organ donor.

But, although organ donation law has now been replaced by an opt-out system in England, Wales and Scotland, many people are still unaware that families will always be consulted before organ donation. organs.

For more information or to register your organ donation decision, visit the website www.organdonation.nhs.uk or call 0300 1232323.

NHS app users can also use the service to record, check or update their organ donation decision and the organization is urging people to share their donation decision with their families.

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