Record year for kidney transplants

Fiona Dillon

A record number of kidney transplants were carried out here last year.

Mark Murphy, the head of the Irish Kidney Association, told the Herald that a total of 165 kidney transplants were carried out up to the middle of December 2009.

This compared to a figure of 146 for 2008, he said.

Of the 165 kidney transplants carried out last year, 18 were living donor kidney transplants, up from ten in 2008 and five the year before.

He said that 2009 had been a record year for kidney transplantation in Ireland, particularly because of the continuing development of the Living Donor Programme.

Around three to four living donor transplants were performed in Britain on Irish citizens, according to Mr Murphy.

The previous record for kidney transplants was in 1988 when a total of 155 kidney transplants were performed, he told the Herald.

TV3 this month begins screening three one-hour documentaries about organ transplantation in Ireland, and the association is hopeful that "this comprehensive work will also generate more organ donor awareness," he said.

Mr Murphy said that it had been a difficult time for the association, adjusting to reduced funding at a time when everybody is struggling with extra financial constraints.


"However, the achievement of a record year for kidney transplantation and the hope of even more transplantation in 2010 is a goal we have long hoped for.

"Years of lobbying by the Irish Kidney Association, the Irish Donor Network, transplant professionals throughout the country and particularly the team in Beaumont Hospital, aided now by the National Renal Office and the Department of Health and Children has made this possible," he said.

Writing in the most recent issue of Support magazine, he extended thanks to all concerned, and especially the donor families "whose selfless act has made this possible".

They included last year RTE reporter Vivienne Traynor (38) who donated one of her kidneys to her nephew Martin (29).