Donor organs go waste in Britain

February 13th, 2012 - 9:45 am ICT by IANS  

London, Feb 13 (IANS) Dozens of donor organs including kidneys meant for transplant go waste every year in Britain because of damages caused while being removed from dead patients, according to a survey.

Figures obtained by the Daily Express have revealed that in 17 months till September 2011, at least 85 donor organs were damaged. Nearly half of these were kidneys.

The report said that loss of such large numbers of life-saving organs has fuelled concern that specialist teams sent to retrieve the organs were not always adequately trained to deal with the complex surgery involved.

Transplant surgeons say there should be hardly any organs injured during the removal process and many of those injured could be repaired.

“Damage at organ retrieval is generally avoidable and there is good evidence that surgical damage to organs can often be repaired, and function as well as a non-damaged organ,” said Stephen Wigmore, professor of transplant surgery at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary.

“There is such a huge demand for organs we have to maximise the potential to retrieve them successfully,” he said.

A 56-year-old kidney patient named Caroline Higson from Lancashire, who has been on dialysis for six years, is desperate for a transplant and was shocked at the waste.

She has twice nearly died from complications.

“There are so many of us waiting for a transplant. Every kidney damaged means an even longer wait. I worry another infection will kill me,” she said.

The National Health Service Blood and Transplant service, however, said “not all organs offered for donation are suitable for transplant”.

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