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Thousands waiting for kidney transplant

Five and a half thousand people in the UK are waiting for a kidney transplant and one person dies every day waiting for a match.

Today is World Kidney Day, and it's also ten years since people were given permission to donate to a total stranger.

Sally Simmonds has been finding out why people want to undergo surgery to help others, and whether it's made a difference to the thousands of desperate people on the waiting list.

Rise in life-saving kidney transplants in Portsmouth

Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust has seen an 11% increase in the number of life-saving kidney transplants carried out in the last year.

Figures published today show the renal team at Queen Alexandra Hospital performed 87 kidney transplants between 1 April 2013 and 31 March 2014 – up from 78 last year.

The Organ Donation and Transplantation Activity Report 2013/14 also shows the number of people waiting for a transplant in the Portsmouth area decreased from 235 in 2012/13 to 228 in 2013/14.

Despite the rises in the number of people benefiting from a transplant, around 3 people die each day across the UK due to a shortage of organs.

This week’s National Transplant Week has the slogan ‘Spell It Out’, which urges us all to tell those closest to us whether we want to be an organ donor.

Family refusal is our biggest problem and it’s sad we lag so far behind some other countries in terms of consent/authorisation rates to donation. The truth is every potential donor is precious and whenever a family cannot bring themselves to donate; patients waiting for an organ may die. We understand that families often have to consider donation in their darkest hour. So rather than wait for that moment, please ask yourself now whether you think it is right to accept people dying in need of a transplant in the UK?"

– Sally Johnson, NHS Blood and Transplant