Transplant list shock

MORE than 200 people living in East Anglia desperately need life-saving transplant operations, new figures reveal.A total of 181 residents in the region are currently on the transplant waiting list while 61 others have been temporarily removed from the list because they are too ill to undergo the operation or are away.

MORE than 200 people living in East Anglia desperately need life-saving transplant operations, new figures reveal.

A total of 181 residents in the region are currently on the transplant waiting list while 61 others have been temporarily removed from the list because they are too ill to undergo the operation or are away.

Data published by UK Transplant, the NHS body which oversees the register and organ allocations, shows seven people living in East Anglia died last year while awaiting a vital transplant operation.

Experts say transplantation is the only treatment for many illnesses and the biggest threat to the life-saving operations are a shortage of donors.

A UK Transplant spokesman said: “Organ transplantation is one of the most miraculous achievements of modern medicine. But the transplants depend entirely on the generosity of donors and their families who are willing to make this life-saving gift to others.

“Transplantation is highly successful and is, increasingly, the only treatment for many illnesses. For many patients, a donated organ makes the difference between life and death. But the biggest threat to transplantation today is the shortage of donors.

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“With up to 9,000 patients needing organ transplants each year, the need has never been greater for more donors to join the NHS Organ Donor Register.”

Up to eight lives could be saved by a single donor with the main organs of the body such as the heart, the two kidneys, liver, two lungs and bowel.

But a donor can enhance lots of lives substantially with tissue such as heart valves or corneas. Each cornea donor could restore the sight of two people.

Skin can be used to treat serious burn victims. Bone can help people suffering with bone cancer.

A total of 171 transplant operations were carried out in East Anglia in 2007/08 and 19 have already been carried out this year.

There are currently 542,978 people living in East Anglia on the UK Organ Donor Register.

How to become an organ donor

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