The annual organ donation and transplantation report is now out and it shows that during the last year, organ donation has slightly fallen. Unfortunately, Covid-19 has meant that most of the transplantation system had to be shut down since March, although it is now restarting. Some people will have had to start dialysis during this period and our Worried Sick report shows that about two thirds of all kidney patients have had their care disrupted. Nevertheless, during March and at the height of the pandemic, some amazing families agreed to organ donation and some transplants did go ahead. There is much more to be done – sadly during the year 2019/2020 372 people died waiting for a transplant and 746 people were suspended from the transplant waiting list, as they were not well enough to be able to receive a transplant. The transplant activity report shows the period up to February 2020, when there were 6,000 people waiting for a transplant. Eight out of ten of those are kidney patients; every day last year, a further 11 kidney patients were added to the waiting list.
In May 2020, the organ donation opt-out law Max and Keira’s law came into place in England and opt-out will be adopted in Scotland in spring 2021. Kidney Care UK hopes that despite Covid-19 the continued public support for organ donation and the new laws to support organ donation will mean that more kidney patients will be able to benefit from transplants in the future.
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