QA tops the table for most altruistic donors

GIFT Nicholas Crace, centre, with niece Charlotte Duthie, left, and Lucy Chester, transplant co-ordinator for QA's renal department
GIFT Nicholas Crace, centre, with niece Charlotte Duthie, left, and Lucy Chester, transplant co-ordinator for QA's renal department

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SURGEONS at Queen Alexandra Hospital have performed the highest number of ‘altruistic’ kidney donor operations in the country.

An altruistic kidney donation is where a living person donates the organ to a stranger.

Last year 60 of these procedures took place across 17 centres in the country.

And QA, in Cosham, performed 11 of them – more than any other centre.

Paul Gibbs, a lead renal consultant at QA, said: ‘It’s a great achievement for the team at the hospital, but it only happens because of the generosity of our patients.

‘They are a fantastic bunch of people, and it’s because of them that it is made possible for this procedure to take place.

‘We are proud to carry the most procedures of this sort in the country.’

Since July 2007, when altruistic donors became legal, QA has carried out 21 operations.

Mr Gibbs is also a trustee of the Give A Kidney, One’s Enough charity.

He said: ‘The charity did research and found out that eight per cent of the population would consider it.

‘If just one in 500 of those eight per cent donated, the it would abolish the kidney transfer waiting list.

‘We are getting more people come forward, and you can see the enthusiasm increase by the number of donors going up each year.

‘Living kidneys work better and for longer.

‘And the donor gets to know they have given someone else a chance at life.

‘We are still keen for deceased donors, but organs from living kidney donors last longer.’

For most people it can take between three months to six months from expressing an interest to becoming a donor.

Generally, people need to be extremely fit and have two good kidneys.

Age is no barrier, which was proven by QA patient Nicholas Crace, who became the oldest living altruistic donor at the age of 83.

Now 84, Mr Crace was presented with an award from the Oldie magazine .

Mr Crace, of Overton, said: ‘The team at QA are fantastic and it’s tremendously exciting that they have done the most of these operations.’