This week, between September 4-10, NHS Blood and Transplant, hospitals, charities - including Kidney Research UK and supporters will be encouraging people across the UK to talk about organ donation with their families.
Most people support organ donation but a family’s support is needed too, so that donation can go ahead.
So this week is all about reminding people that their family won’t know how they feel about organ donation, unless they tell them.
The good news is the number of people currently known to be alive thanks to organ transplants has broken 50,000 for the first time.
This increase is revealed in this year’s UK Transplant Activity Report 2016/17, published by NHS Blood and Transplant.
There are now 50,300 people alive today thanks to organ transplants – more than enough to fill Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge and almost enough to fill Liverpool’s Anfield stadium.
- Kidney transplants – 36,300 people
- Pancreas transplants – 1,900 people
- Cardiothoracic (heart or lung or combined heart/lung) transplants – 3,900 people
- Liver transplants – 9,800 people
- Intestinal transplants - 100 people
The milestone figure has been reached thanks to record levels of public support for organ donation and improvements in survival rates.
The number of people receiving a transplant in a single year has reached the record figure of 4,753, an increase of 20 per cent in the last five years.
The increase means that nearly 800 more people a year have their lives or improved by transplants than they did five years ago.
The number of people on the NHS Organ Donor Register also reached a record number, 23.6 million, up by 4.9 million over five years. Now 36 per cent of the UK’s population is on the NHS Organ Donor Register, compared to 30 per cent five years ago.
Survival rates continue to improve. An adult receiving the most common type of kidney transplant during the early 1990s had a 66 per cent chance it would still be functioning after five years.
This report shows adults receiving the same type of transplant five years ago have an 87 per cent chance their kidney is still functioning today.
Many more recipients are now able to enjoy fuller lives, including starting families of their own.
Find out more about signing up to the organ donor register.
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