Transplant targets missed due to lack of donated organs
The number of liver, kidney and pancreas transplant operations performed this year are behind targets set by the HSE, new figures show.
But overall the number of transplants is on course to equal last year's record-breaking total of 294 operations which was the highest number ever recorded in the State.
The Irish Kidney Association (IKA) has described the figures for the first six months of this year as a "mixed result" with the number of heart and lung transplants on course to exceed the national targets. Only 18 living kidneys have been donated so far this year up to June - well behind the target of 50 that has been set by the National Organ Donation and Transplantation Office (NODTO), part of the HSE, which governs organ donation in Ireland
However, the Irish Kidney Association says it expects the number of 'live' kidney donations to be met as 50 donors are already in place.
Only 71 kidneys from deceased people have been donated, which is behind the target of 150, while only four pancreas transplants took place between May and June last year. The target is 11.
A national target of 60 liver transplants was set by the NODTO in its annual report for 2013, but so far only 26 liver transplant operations have been performed this year, the figures reveal.
More positively there have been 10 heart transplants and 18 lung transplants which are ahead of the respective targets of 15 and 30. Overall the target of 294 transplants is set to be matched with 147 transplants, exactly half last year's total, carried out in the first half of the year.
IKA Chief Executive Mark Murphy said there were positives and negatives from the numbers of organ transplantations performed this year. "The transplants conducted in the first six months of this year show a mix of results when compared to the deliverables proposed by the NODTO," Mr Murphy told the Irish Independent.
"Heart and Lung transplantation is ahead of target. Liver (transplantation) is not far off the target but the kidney and pancreas programmes have the most to do in the second half of the year."
He added donors were in place to meet the 50 kidney transplants targeted by the HSE but said it was impossible to predict the rate of donations for the rest of the year.
"The deceased kidney transplant programme is entirely dependent on the willingness of the public to donate organs," he said.
"It is impossible to predict the amount of deceased donors you will ever have in a given period and often the differences in the deceased donor numbers in the two six-month periods of a year differ widely."
The figures show 42 people, who died in the first six months of 2014 donated organs, which is the same as in 2013.
In 2012, 238 organs were donated while 275 were donated in 2011. Around 3,000 people are currently living longer lives in Ireland having received an organ transplant since the first operation in 1964. However, the Irish Kidney Association has said around 600 Irish people are currently in need of a transplant.