The English opt-out device may have caused the ‘spike’ of the Scottish heart donor.



Despite the effect of Covid on health care, the number of heart transplants performed in Scotland has increased this year, and healthcare experts are trying to find out why.

Transplant officials said that there is also evidence that there has been a rise in the number of younger deceased donors.

Figures indicate that in the six months from April to September, 12 heart transplants have already been completed, compared with 13 for the full year from April 2019 to March 31, 2010. A total of 11 performances took place at the Golden Jubilee National Hospital in Clydebank the year before.

Although the figures fluctuate from year to year, transplant reports have indicated that as donations are received from across the UK, the new opt-out organ donation scheme in England, which came into force in May of this year, may have played a role in the rise.

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The new English method is expected to result in 700 additional transplants annually by 2023.

On March 26, Scotland is planning to make the same move, requiring individuals over 16 to register an objection if they do not wish to donate organs after death, although the final decision will still be consulted with the families.

Although the number of cardiothoracic transplants has increased, this year the number of patients undergoing kidney transplants has declined, in part because Covid had to postpone operations by living donors for several months.

Although deceased donor transplants are relatively similar to last year, from April through September, a total of 15 living kidney transplants were performed, compared to 105 last year.

Susan Hannah, NHS Blood and Transplant Scotland regional manager, said that transplant numbers are expected to decrease further as we reach the next step of closure.

“She said, “Organ donation is no different, much like other programs affected by the pandemic.

“We will see the numbers falling again now that we are moving through an even more difficult time.

“The heart-thorax transplant was the most successful of all the transplants. We’re not quite sure why there is a change.

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The age of our donors may be a little lower than it used to be, but we don’t generally know,” he said. “It’s just something that we’re conscious of.

We have different forms of donations and all I can tell is that we’re looking into it, on a case-by-case basis, we have to assess each donor.

“While we acknowledge that the pandemic has been challenging for us, meanwhile we’ve continued to do transplants and we’re incredibly grateful to donors, families and units for their support.”

The new Scottish data reveals that one in five (22%) has not yet decided if they will be a donor or not to donate, while 70% have decided not to donate and 8% have decided not to donate.

According to estimates from April to September, 50 percent of the Scottish population signed on to the registry of organ donors (2,725,11), while 25,939 people opted against it.

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Since the government’s awareness campaign launched this month, the number is expected to increase. However, the number of those in England and Wales who have reported a contradiction is said not to have been “unexpected or worrying.”

“Ms. Hannah added, “It sparks excitement when you begin to change a method. That leads to more opt-out registrations, as we ask people to make their choices known.

“If you look at the comparison of opt-ins, it’s a very small amount. In truth, once the campaign starts in January, we would expect to see an increase in opt-outs.”


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