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Information event aims to boost number of living kidney donors for west of Scotland

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

More than 250 people in the west of Scotland are currently waiting for a kidney transplant with many of those waiting up to three years for a suitable donor. 

An informal information evening for people interested in becoming a live donor is being hosted by NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde (NHSGGC) at Glasgow City Chambers on Monday, 5 September. 

Marc Clancy, consultant transplant surgeon, will host a panel of experts made up of donors, recipients, surgeons, nephrologists, and transplant co-ordinators. They will discuss the kidney donation process before inviting questions from the audience. Panel members and health board staff will be available afterwards to share more information. 

The board’s transplant team transferred from the Western Infirmary to the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in summer 2015 where they now have access to a greater number of state-of-the-art theatres. 

The QEUH’s facilities enabled six kidney transplants to be carried out in 24 hours – three days after the hospital opened. 

Julie Glen, living donor co-ordinator, NHSGGC, said: “Our kidney transplant team carried out 42 live donor transplants last year. We’re looking to increase these numbers using the cutting edge surgical theatres at the QEUH to improve quality of life for our patients and their families. 

“I’d urge anyone who is considering becoming a live kidney donor to come along to our event on the 5th of September which coincides with the start of Organ Donation Week. 

“Coming along to the information evening or contacting us does not commit you to anything – it’s simply an opportunity to find out more about living kidney donations. 

“While we’re very keen to have potential donors come forward, donor safety is a priority.

The assessment procedure involves a whole series of blood tests, scans, and physical and psychological assessments. Being a healthy person is not the same as being a suitable donor.” 

Potential donors considered physically and psychologically healthy see an assessor from the Human Tissue Authority. The assessor makes sure the person fully understands all the implications of giving a kidney, including being put under pressure to do so and that they’re not being paid to donate, which is illegal in the UK.

Those wanting to give a kidney altruistically – donating to a stranger – go through the same assessment. NHS Blood and Transplant service will then match the person to a suitable recipient on the national kidney waiting list.  Altruistic donors are not able to choose whom their kidney is given to or to put any limitation on who receives it. 

Julie said: “The west of Scotland alone accounts for 62% of the total number of people nationally waiting for a transplant. However, it’s now possible for more people than ever before to have, and survive, a transplant operation thanks to advances in medical science. 

“A kidney from a living donor is the ‘gold standard’ treatment for people with kidney failure. However, currently only a third of our transplants come from living donors with two thirds coming from deceased donors. 

“The evening will be very informal and a good opportunity to speak with donors, recipients and the transplant team with absolutely no obligation to become a donor” 

The information evening is on Monday, 5 September between 6.30-8.30pm in the Satinwood Suite of Glasgow City Chambers. Further information is available from [email protected]

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