Donor shortage is still costing lives

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South Yorkshire patients waiting for a kidney transplant now face an average wait of 944 days, according to new figures.

The figures - released by NHS Blood and Transplant to mark World Kidney Day recently - reveal this national waiting time has dropped by 18 per cent in the last five years.

The news comes as the number of people on the NHS Organ Donor Register has reached its highest ever figure, 23.53 million. Last year, the UK also had the highest ever number of deceased organ donors, 1,364.

In South Yorkshire alone, there are currently 115 people waiting for a kidney donor.

Sally Johnson, NHS Blood and Transplant director of organ donation and transplantation, said: “We’re encouraged that the number of people becoming donors has helped reduce how long desperately ill people wait before they receive a kidney transplant.

“However there is a still a severe shortage of donated organs. Two and a half years is far too long to wait for a kidney and far too many people die without ever receiving the transplant they need. Organ donation saves lives and we urge people to join the NHS Organ Donor Register and talk to their families about their decision.”

Kidney patients still make up the majority of the patients on the transplant waiting list and the majority of the people who die waiting for a transplant, die waiting for a kidney.

Since last year’s World Kidney Day, 62 per cent of the patients who have died waiting for an organ transplant were patients waiting for a kidney, or a kidney and another organ. There are currently around 5,200 people waiting for a kidney in the UK.

Visit www.organdonation.nhs.uk to join the NHS Organ Donor Register today.