Organ donation week: Birmingham leads the world

Organ donation week poster

During Organ Donation Week (3-10 September), we’re celebrating the pioneering and lifesaving work of our partners in the field of transplantation.

Today, we’ve collated transplant facts and figures from our founder members University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust (UHB) – from the world-leading to the awe-inspiring:

UHB has the second largest renal dialysis programme in the UK and has the largest solid organ transplantation programme in Europe.

The very first liver transplant in Birmingham was carried out at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEHB) on 19 January 1982 by pioneering former surgeon Professor Paul McMaster and team.

The 5,000th and 5,001st liver transplants were carried out on the same day by the city’s liver transplant units in August 2017 – the 5,000th at Birmingham Children’s Hospital and 5,001st at UHB. On reaching this milestone, the teams from both hospitals performed four liver transplants in 48 hours.

Survival rates have now improved significantly from the early days with a one-year survival rate of 94 percent.

The number of liver transplants that now take place has also grown from just three in that first year of 1982 to more than 4-5 a week now.

UHB performed the first kidney transplant in 1967. The Trust has close links with Birmingham Children’s Hospital, supporting their paediatric programme.

Mr Andrew Ready, Consultant Renal Transplant Surgeon at UHB is Medical Director of Transplant Links Community, a charitable organisation dedicated to supporting renal transplantation in the developing world. In this role he has led UHB transplant teams to Ghana, Nigeria, Trinidad, Jamaica, Barbados and Nepal and is currently developing plans with countries as far afield as Uganda and Papua New Guinea.

The Heart and Lung Transplant programme at UHB provides a service for adult patients in England and Wales. It is one of the five centres commissioned to deliver this service for the population of England and Wales and for eligible overseas patients.

The heart transplantation programme at QEHB commenced in 1992; it is now a major centre for coronary bypass and valve operations but also offers surgery in the more specialist and demanding areas including heart and lung transplantation and surgery of the aorta.

QEHB has one of the largest and most modern intensive care units in Europe supported by highly qualified nursing and medical staff. It is the largest single site critical care facility in Europe, with 100 beds.

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