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Organ Donation Consent Rate at Record Level but More Work Needed to Stop Missed Opportunities

Closer working between hospital trusts and organ donation nurses has contributed to record levels of organ donation, said NHS Blood and Transplant.

 

Organ Donation Consent Rate at Record Level but More Work Needed to Stop Missed Opportunities

This year’s 2016/17 Transplant Activity Report, published today, shows 63% of families agreed to donation last year when approached. There was a record number of deceased organ donors, 1,413, an increase of four per cent.

NHS Blood and Transplant said the relationships between its UK-wide network of Specialist Nurses in Organ Donation (SNOD), and hospital trust emergency departments and intensive care units, has greatly contributed to the figures.

NICE has made a clear recommendation that SNODs should be involved as early as a possible when approaching the families of potential organ donors and the latest figures show improvements continue to be made.

Specialist Nurses in Organ Donation were involved in 93% of all approaches to the families of people who could become donors by brain death, an increase of two percentage points, and 80% of all approaches to the families of people who could become donors by circulatory death, an increase of three percentage points.

Additionally, 97% of all eligible donors by brain death were referred to SNODs, resulting in 17 fewer missed opportunities for donation than the previous year. 86% of all eligible donors by circulatory death were referred to SNODs, resulting in 205 fewer missed opportunities for donation than during the previous year.

Initiatives and good practice between SNODs and trusts and boards have included:

  • Strong clinical cultures that promote organ donation is a positive act, including notices, signs, and memorials to donors.
  • More detailed training for ICU staff, including intensive care consultants taking a lead on brain stem death testing.
  • Medical directors chairing Organ Donation Committees
  • Daily phone calls from SNODs to all hospitals in a region to check for potential donors
  • Emails from Clinical Leads in Organ Donation to consultants responsible for missed referrals, to reiterate best practice.

Sally Johnson, Director of Organ Donation and Transplantation for NHS Blood and Transplant, said: “This is an immense achievement and we thank all our colleagues in NHS Blood and Transplant and our clinical partners at health and hospital trusts and boards across the UK.

“We’re seeing 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.

“Our ambition is to be world class and the progress made last year proves that this is realistic. Yet there is still more to do and we won’t become world class by just increasing the consent/authorisation rate. We must take every opportunity to save lives through transplantation. 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 donate.”

NHS Blood and Transplant is also working to make sure that whenever an organ is donated, everything possible is done to allow the organ to be used for a lifesaving transplant. For example an increasing number of organs can now be successfully transplanted from donors following circulatory death.

John Forsythe, Associate Director for Organ Donation and Transplantation at NHS Blood and Transplant, said: “A decade ago, we would consider it a success if we were able to retrieve and transplant two kidneys from a donor who has been confirmed as dead by conventional cessation of circulation.

“Now we work towards retrieving two kidneys, the liver, and perhaps the pancreas and cardiothoracic organs. The number of lives that be saved by each precious donor has gone up significantly. We are amongst the world leaders in organ retrieval for donors after circulatory death and we thank transplant units for their tremendous work in this area.”

Health minister Jackie Doyle-Price said: “Organ donation transforms and saves lives – these numbers show excellent progress and are a testament to the brilliant work of NHS Blood and Transplant and all those involved. Now we need more organ donors to come forward so everyone requiring a transplant stands the best chance of receiving one.”

In 2013, the UK Governments and NHS Blood and Transplant launched a seven year organ donation and transplantation strategy Taking Organ Transplantation to 2020. To view or download the strategy go to: http://www.nhsbt.nhs.uk/to2020/

The full Organ Donation and Transplantation Activity Report 2016/17 can be viewed at: https://www.organdonation.nhs.uk/supporting-my-decision/statistics-about-organ-donation/transplant-activity-report/

Please join the NHS Organ Donor Register at www.organdonation.nhs.uk

 

Source: NHS Blood and Transplant

 

 

Organ Donation Consent Rate at Record Level but More Work Needed to Stop Missed Opportunities

 
 
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The Operating Theatre Journal, OTJ, is published monthly and distributed to every hospital operating theatre department in the UK. The distribution includes both the National Health Service and the Private Sector.

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