'Worrying Decline' In Kidney Donations In West Yorkshire

In West Yorkshire, there were only 21 living kidney donors in 2017, compared to 24 in 2013.

NHS Blood and Transplant has warned of a worrying decline in living kidney donation in West Yorkshire as new national figures hit an eight year low.

There were 990 living kidney donors in the UK during 2017, a 10% decline on the highest ever year, 2013, and the lowest figure since 2009. 

In West Yorkshire, there were only 21 living kidney donors in 2017, compared to 24 in 2013. There are currently 176 people waiting for a kidney in West Yorkshire and 41 people from West Yorkshire have died on the transplant waiting list waiting for a kidney in the last five years.

The figures have been released for World Kidney Day (March 8) with an appeal for more people to consider making a life-transforming donation while they are still alive. 

Lisa Burnapp, NHS Blood and Transplant Lead Nurse for Kidney Donation, said: "Last year, 261 people died in the UK waiting for a kidney transplant, and many of those lives could have been saved through increased living kidney donation. 

"Living donation has been a major success story for the UK, with 1 in 3 patients receiving a kidney transplant from a living donor, so the decline in West Yorkshire and around the UK is worrying.

"We are investigating the causes and working closely with the clinical community, NHS England and Health Departments in all four UK countries to reverse the trend.

"Anonymous altruistic donations are especially important because they can start transplant chains. It's no coincidence that the high figures for 2013 came when altruistic donation was at its highest ever level."

The decline in living kidney donation is especially concerning for the black and Asian patient communities. Organs are matched by blood group and tissue type and people from the same ethnic background are more likely to be a match.

However black and Asian families are less likely to agree to deceased organ donation or to donate anonymously as living donors, which means black and Asian kidney patients rely disproportionately on living donations from family members.

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