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More cystic fibrosis patients would live for longer if the NHS accepted more donor lungs and directed them to "those most in need", according to a specialist doctor.
Professor Andrew Fisher from the Institute of Transplantation, Freeman Hospital and Newcastle University, explained:
Successful lung transplantation can transform the life of someone with very severe lung disease due to cystic fibrosis.
By increasing the acceptance of donor lungs that are currently available and directing them to those most in need, we will have the chance to make sure all those with cystic fibrosis who need a lung transplant get the opportunity to benefit from it.
Changes should be made to the way lung transplants are allocated on the NHS, so more cystic fibrosis sufferers are prioritised, a charity has said.
The Cystic Fibrosis Trust called on NHS Blood and Transplant to develop a new "lung allocation system" that balances the needs to medical urgency and long-term outcomes.
There is concern across the cystic fibrosis community about equity in lung allocation.
There is a perception that the likelihood of getting a lung transplant, and the time frames for this vary according to where an individual is listed.
A donated organ will not currently necessarily reach the most in-need candidate anywhere in the country.
The mortality rate of cystic fibrosis sufferers who die waiting for a lung transplant is a "scandal", a health charity has warned.
The Cystic Fibrosis Trust criticised the "transplant lottery" as it emerged one in three with the lung disease die while waiting for a transplant.
Sufferers on the transplant list wait on average, for more than a year - 412 days, the charity said.
More than 10,000 people from across the UK suffer from the life-shortening condition which is caused by a faulty gene.
It leads to a sticky mucus clogging the lungs and digestive systems which makes it hard for sufferers to breathe and eat.
Relatives of a woman who died after learning that her lung transplants were donated by a heavy smoker have started a campaign in her memory.Read the full story ›