Transplant unit marks 1000 operations
09 January 2012
Two patients have undergone landmark transplants at a unit which is to benefit from additional funding to increase the number of operations it carries out.
The Scottish Liver Transplant Unit, which opened in 1992, is to benefit from an additional £888k of Scottish Government funding, allowing it to undertake up to 120 liver transplant operations per year. The Unit is a national service commissioned by NHS National Services Scotland's National Services Division, based at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh.
The service is also supported by the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service. Transplants are made possible by the 162,000 blood donors who regularly give of their own time to donate blood and platelets.
Fraser Sneddon , 25, became the 1000th patient to undergo a liver transplant at the Scottish Liver Transplant Unit, while Lesley Ross, 49, was the 1000th patient to receive a kidney since the kidney transplant service transferred from the Western General Hospital in 1995.
Visiting the unit, Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon said:
"Seeing first-hand how a transplant can transform lives reinforces the important role that transplant teams across Scotland play every day of the year.
"It is important that we recognise the commitment and dedication of all those involved in organ donation and transplantation, whether they work in intensive care or the transplant unit, or are involved with the retrieval process. This additional funding underpins the important work of the unit, and highlights our commitment to implementing in Scotland the recommendations of the UK Organ Donation Taskforce.
"Liver transplantation in particular is seeing increasing pressures, with more and more people needing transplant ops and I hope that this additional funding will help to improve many more lives.
"However, the tragic fact is that more than 600 people in Scotland are still waiting for a life-saving transplant and across the UK three people die every day because they don't get the organ they need in time.
"I would appeal on behalf of those waiting for a transplant, and their families, to anyone who has not yet registered to sign up to save a life through the NHS Organ Donor Register - www.organdonationscotland.org or by texting LIFE TO 61611.
"Signing up to the Register only takes a couple of minutes, but could mean the difference between life and death for those waiting for a transplant."