Living donor kidney transplants to jump by 50pc this year
One-in-two Irish patients who undergoes a kidney transplant can expect the new organ to function for around 14 years, according to a report.
This is three years longer than the lifespan of similar transplants carried out on half the patients in other countries.
Kidney transplants are performed in Beaumont Hospital in Dublin and the unit expects to have a 50pc rise in operations with organs from living donors this year.
There have been 46 living donor transplants performed since the start of 2016, up from 33 for the whole of last year.
A study of over 400 transplants centres across Europe was carried out by the University of Heidelberg.
Dilly Little, Beaumont Hospital transplant surgeon, said: "One of the main goals for the transplant team this year was to increase the number of living donor transplants and it's very rewarding to see that we are on track.
"At the moment, the average waiting time for a deceased donor kidney transplant is 34 months.
"However, if a suitable and willing living donor can be identified, the transplant procedure can proceed in a matter of months.
"This is a huge benefit to the potential recipient as a successful transplant immediately improves their health and well-being."
Consultant nephrologist Conall O'Seaghdha commented that globally there has been a decline in the number of deceased donor kidneys.
He said this is "primarily due to improvements in road safety and neurosurgical care".
"But in Ireland the increase in living donor transplants this year has helped balance this reduction," he said.
"This is why it's so important that we continue to support and develop living donor kidney transplantation in Ireland."
He also reminded people that it was vital to take time to consider carrying an organ donor card.
"It is important to ensure their families know their wishes should the question ever arise," he said.
There are some 2,343 people who have undergone transplants in Ireland and are living with functioning kidneys.