Transplants save hundreds of lives at Guy's and St Thomas'
Tuesday 11 July 2017
More patients received a life-saving kidney transplant from a living donor at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust than any other transplant unit in England, according to figures published today in NHS Blood and Transplant’s Organ Donation and Transplantation Activity Report 2016/17.
Nearly 250 patients received a transplant at Guy’s and St Thomas’ thanks to living kidney donors or people who had donated their organs after death. These included kidney transplants, combined kidney and pancreas transplants and combined kidney and liver transplants.
Out of the 244 transplants carried out at Guy’s, 79 were from living donors – the most out of all transplant centres in England, and 165 were with organs from deceased donors which was the third largest number performed by any transplant unit in the UK.
The report found that across the UK there was a 3% increase in the total number of transplants last year, with 4,753 transplants being carried out in all transplant units. It also highlighted that the number of people currently known to be alive thanks to organ transplants reached more than 50,000 for the first time in 2016/17 and that survival rates continue to improve.
Sue Lyon, 65 from Rotherhithe, had a lifesaving kidney transplant 31 years ago at Guy’s Hospital when she was 34. Sue, a medical journalist, said: “When I had my transplant no one had any idea how long I’d survive with it and now I’ve lived with my donated kidney for nearly as long as I’d lived without it.
“Until I had my transplant I had been on home dialysis, which worked very well for me for several years. The day after my transplant I remember waking up and for the first time in a long time my palms were a healthy pink, rather than yellow, showing that my kidney transplant was already starting to work.
“Since then I’ve felt terrific – the transplant changed my life. Without it I wouldn’t have been able to work, travel or have the energy that I still have now. I’ll always be grateful for the generosity of my donor's family at what must have been the worst of times for them, and for the excellent care I continue to receive at Guy’s Hospital kidney unit.”
Despite the successes, the overall shortage of donated organs remains across the UK. At the end of March 2017, 343 patients at Guy’s and St Thomas’ were on the list for a kidney transplant.
Professor Nizam Mamode, Consultant Transplant Surgeon at Guy’s and St Thomas’, said: “We are proud to have one of the largest kidney transplant programmes in the UK and that we have been able to save hundreds of lives. Without donors and their families, these transplants would not have been possible and we are very grateful to them.
“Medical advances mean patients are surviving with donated organs for longer than ever, but people are still dying while they are waiting for a suitable donor organ so we encourage people to sign the Organ Donor Register.”
Sally Johnson, Director of Organ Donation and Transplantation for NHS Blood and Transplant, said: “More people than ever are agreeing to organ donation and that is saving more lives than ever. This is an immense achievement. It’s amazing to picture all the people now alive today thanks to organ donation and think of all the families and children who have grown up thanks to donors.
“We’re seeing more and more people committing to donation and the good results of our close work with hospitals. Our specialist nurses in organ donation are now almost always involved in discussions with families over organ donation.
“However there is still a long way to go. Around three people still die a day in need of a transplant. Every one of those people who die could be a mother or a father, a daughter or a son, who might be alive today. Families tell us donation is a source of pride that helps them in their grieving process. We don’t want anyone to miss the opportunity to save lives. Please join the NHS Organ Donor Register. It only takes two minutes.”
Last updated: July 2017