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Concern as the number of  living-  donor transplants in the UK


 continues to fall  • The support provided by LTCs to source potential living donors from family members and
                                                                        By Kirit Modi,  NKF Life Vice President



               friends may not be appropriate. It is very difficult for patients waiting for a kidney transplant to
               discuss the option of a living donor with close family and friends. Support is provided by the local LTC
               but the type of support varies. There is some evidence that offering this support in the home of the
               patient, particularly for patients from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) backgrounds may be
               more effective than in a group or hospital based setting.
             • Some kidney patients may prefer to receive a kidney donated after death rather than from
               a living donation. There is some anecdotal evidence supporting this theory.  The average
               waiting time for a kidney transplant donated by someone after death is now 2.5 years (3 years for
               BAME patients). Unfortunately, there is no national guidance for patients and donors about the
               advantages and disadvantages of one system of donation over the other.
             •  Who champions living donation in hospitals? For donation after death, hospitals have to
               establish a local Organ Donation Committee which is funded by NHSBT. However, other than the
               existence of a LTC there is no comparable arrangement supporting the system of living donation
               in most hospitals.


            There may, of course be other reasons for the drop in living-donor
            kidney transplants and these need to be identified.


            What is NKF doing about this?
            The APPKG will hold a Living-donor KidneyTransplant Summit this year – date to be
            advised - within the Parliamentary Estate at Westminster. The Summit will include
            input from key individuals with expertise in living-donor kidney transplantation in
            the UK. It will investigate the reasons for the drop in numbers, consider what we
            should do about them and highlight good practice. Following the Summit, the
            APPKG will publish a Living-donor Transplant Manifesto which will set out clear
            recommendations for improving living-donor transplantation in England.


            How can Kidney Patient Associations and patients help?
            Kidney Patient Associations (KPAs) and individual patients have an
            important contribution to make at a local level. If you are a patient or
            belong to a KPA affiliated to your hospital please make contact with
            your hospital’s LTC and arrange a meeting with her/him. The issues
            raised above would provide a good basis for discussion at the
            meeting. The LTC should be able to provide details of the number
            of living kidney donations and transplants that have taken place at
            their hospital over the last couple of years. NB - NHSBT statistics
            are measured April to end March. From this meeting local issues
            may emerge and can be pursued further by the KPA.

            Next stages
            A copy of the Manifesto for Living-donor
            Transplantation will be emailed to every
            KPA and will also be available via the
            NKF web-site. It would be immensely
            helpful if details of any local discussions
            about living-donor kidney transplants
            could be sent to NKF at NKF@kidney.
            org.uk Thank you for your support in
            this initiative.
                                                             HELPLINE  0845 601 02 09   www.kidney.org.uk   Summer  2017   5
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