Organ and blood donation on the up
requirement to retire at the age of 70.
This was welcomed widely and within
six weeks of informing recently retired
donors of the change, 60% had either
donated again or made an
appointment to donate.
Ann Keen, Health Minister, said: “The
support of the public is vital in ensuring
a supply of blood and organs for those
“These achievements are fantastic news
and demonstrate that real progress is
being made a year after we established
the Organ Donation Taskforce and
made funding available to implement
Chris Rudge, National Clinical Director
of Transplantation, said: “Working with
the wider NHS, great strides are being
made with developing organ donation
services across the UK so it is excellent
news that increasing numbers of
transplants were carried out last year.
“We have appointed extra senior nurses
to liaise with donor families and have
begun building a network of senior
Student joining Organ Donor Register during fresher fair season. clinical leads who are working to raise
the profile of organ donation in
A record high in organ There are 1.4m registered blood donors hospitals.
transplantation was matched with in England and North Wales but around
increasing numbers of people 200,000 give up every year for various “While this work is going on, we need
signing up to give blood last year. reasons including medical conditions or the public to talk about organ donation
But the need for more donors has pregnancy, so there is a continuous with their relatives and join the Organ
never been greater, with 7,000 need to attract new donors. Donor Register which will help towards
blood donations needed daily and their wishes being carried out.”
more than 10,000 people across the Additional figures From NHSBT
UK now needing a donated organ. show:
• an 11% increase in the number of
Last year (1 April 2008 - 31 March deceased organ donors across the UK
2009) saw 3,504 organ transplants last year, rising from 809 in 2007-08
carried out across the UK, an 8% to 900 in 2008-09
increase on the previous 12 months. • an 11% increase in living organ
In addition, an extra 245,000 people donation, from 852 in 2007-08 to
registered to become blood donors, 944 in 2008-09
halting a five-year decline in the English • a 7% increase in the number of
and North Wales donor base. people joining the Organ Donor
Register during 2008-09, rising from
But with a constant need for blood and 15.14 million to 16.12 million by the
increasing numbers of people being end of March 2009
listed for organ transplant, the need
for more people to donate is greater NHSBT also updated the age limits on
than ever. blood donation last year, removing the Superheros.
6 Bulletin Summer 2009
BACCUMUP Conference 2009
BACCUMUP 09 was hosted by the The talk was well attended and a good
British Association of Critical Care discussion was had at the end on the
Nurses (BACCN Southern Region) opt out option and the importance of
and the South Thames Intensive following a person’s wishes if they are
Care Unit Managers Group on the ODR.
(STICUMUP). The conference was
held at the Hilton Hotel at Gatwick We were given a space for a stand at
airport. It was fully booked with 200 the back of the auditorium and so were
delegates, most were from the able to catch the eye of every delegate
South East but some from as far as as they came in and out of the sessions.
Cornwall and Edinburgh. The We had come equipped with enough
majority of delegates were critical promotional bags for each delegate and
care nurses, with some outreach were incredibly popular. We had also DTCs Sarah and Beale with Emma
nurses and several critical care nurse provided copies of articles on the Organ Little being visited by two critical
managers. Donation Task Force recommendations, care nurses.
consent and donor management which
The theme of the conference was were also popular.
Outcomes from Critical Care - can you
make a difference? The presentations It is important for NHSBT and Donor
varied from the latest ICNARC data on Transplant Coordinators to have a
mortality and morbidity to improving presence at conferences like this. The
end of life care, patients’ follow up exposure to a large number of critical
experience post ITU and does it matter care nurses with the luxury of time to
whether a hospital has an outreach speak with them and explain the key
service. I was invited to speak and given changes they will see in their hospitals
the title organ donation - balancing a was a valuable opportunity to help the
life lost with lives gained. At this stage smooth implementation of the ODTF
the room was separated into two in recommendations.
order to run a greater selection of talks. DTCs Sarah Beale and Emma Little.
Clinical Leads get their own on-line chat room
Clinical Leads in Organ Donation Lesley Logan and Dan Aldridge. The site
can share best practise and ways to will be password protected and no
increase organ donation through patient identifiable data can be added
E space. This is a web based to the site. Moderators have the right
application set up by NHS to veto or remove information or
Connecting for Health for groups of individuals.
NHS staff to hold discussion forums.
The forum was requested by the Clinical
Access will be by invitation only Leads themselves who will use it to
through moderators Paul Murphy, create an area where they can discuss
difficult cases, latest developments in
organ donation, upload relevant articles
and documents and generally network.
Representatives from NHSBT are also to
take part in the forum and will provide
statistical and organisational
The site will be opened up to Donor
Transplant Co-ordinators and their
management after a period of review.
Chat room screenshot.
Bulletin Summer 2009 7
EOS awarded a Laureate
NHS Blood and Transplant recognised as Laureate & health category finalist by
the Computerworld Honours Program. Global Information Technology Awards
Foundation pays tribute to individuals and organisations that use information
technology to benefit society.
intensive care units until they are ready Laureates Medal Ceremony & Gala
to share stored information with the UK Awards Evening, an event which for
Transplant Registry via the secure over two decades has acknowledged
NHSBT network. individuals and organisations that
have used information technology to
The technology, which uses a mix of benefit society.
electronic forms and computer graphics
to record and store the data, replaces The event unites the world's foremost
the previous system of organ allocation information technology companies to
and matching which relied heavily on recognise the most outstanding user
paper, pen, fax and telephone. achievements in technology each year.
The technology achievements
The speed of the web based application honoured by this program are
makes the allocation process more preserved and protected in national
efficient. In addition, clinical analysis archives, and in over 350 universities,
shows that speed plays a part in the museums, and research institutions
long term success of the transplant throughout the world.
itself which is improved the quicker an
organ is transplanted. The nominations are made by a
group of 100 Chairman and chief
Sally Johnson. Sally Johnson. Director of Organ executives of global technology
Donation and Transplantation, NHS companies around the world whose
A life-saving program that speeds up Blood and Transplant, said: “With visionary applications of information
the matching of donated organs to improved accuracy, efficiency and technology promotes positive social
would-be transplant patients has security, EOS is helping to speed up the and economic progress.
been named a finalist in the allocation process, which frees up the
international Computerworld DTCs to spend more time supporting
Honours Program 2009. donor families.
NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) “This one-to-one care given by specially
commissioned global services company, trained senior nurses is a key part of the EOS update
Sapient, to design an electronic system donation process so anything we can
to manage the process for matching do to improve the way they do their EOS is being rolled out to all UK
and allocating organs donated for jobs helps deliver a real benefit to DTC teams, including recipient
transplant across the UK. patients and families.” points of contact and should be
completed by December.
The Electronic Offering System EOS was one of five winning finalists in
(EOS) enables donor transplant the Health Category of the The second phase of EOS includes
co-ordinators (DTCs) to input information Computerworld Honours Program event the Potential Donor Audit (PDA)
relating to deceased donors, allowing held on 1 June in Washington DC, which is undergoing user
recipient co-ordinators to see on-screen having been shortlisted from a list of acceptance testing at the moment.
what organs are available for transplant 200 potential winners competing across The PDA will enable DTCs to collect
in real-time. 10 different categories. a range of data to help them
develop strategies to increase
The system uses 3G-enabled laptops, This year's Honourees were donation.
allowing DTCs to work independently in commemorated during the 21st Annual
8 Bulletin Summer 2009
Text medication reminders a great success
forgetfulness. Non-adherence can The study included 41 patients between
include not taking the medication at the ages of 1 and 27 years old (median
the prescribed frequency, dose or time age 15) who were taking anywhere
and can be deliberate or unintentional. from 1 to 3 specific medications to
Non-adherence has been associated suppress the immune system daily. The
with severe morbidity: acute/chronic medication was either self-administered
rejection, end stage liver disease, or by the parent/caregiver.
hospitalisations, rising costs,
re-transplantation and even death. Patients or their parents/caregivers
received a text message when it was
Current methods of improving time for the patient to take their
adherence for chronic health problems medication. In the case of older
are mostly complex and not very patients that possessed their own
effective. The aims of the study were to mobile phone, the text messages were
pilot test the effects of text messaging sent to the patient directly. If the
medication reminders on patients' patient didn't confirm via a return text
adherence and outcome. Dr Miloh from message medication intake within a
Mount Sinai says: predetermined amount of time (e.g. 30
minutes), a follow up message was sent
"This new technology may prove to the parent/caregiver alerting them
Up to 40% of adolescents fail to take effective in the transition of that the patient potentially didn't take
their post-transplant medication as responsibility from caregiver to child. medication. The caregiver message
required which can have severe These results should be of interest to included the patients' cell phone
consequences. A year long study by health-care professionals and policy number allowing for immediate dialling.
Mount Sinai Medical Centre in the makers, as it may reduce the
US found that by sending text morbidity, mortality and the After the 12-month period of the study,
message reminders to 41 paediatric utilisation of financial and human compared to the previous 12-month
patients and/or their parents, only resources associated with liver period prior to the study, this group of
two patients experienced a rejection transplantation. Text messaging is a patients showed significant
episode as opposed twelve in the behavioural support intervention that improvement in medication adherence
previous year. can be incorporated into routine clinic (evident in stable, on target blood levels
care, personalised and adapted to of the medication). This resulted in a
The most common reported reason for suit other chronic disease and age significantly lower number of organ
non-adherence in OLT recipients is groups." rejection episodes in this group.
now been completed and has been firstname.lastname@example.org or
Organ retrieval sent to all relevant stakeholders. There Rob Warwick (Commissioning Lead)
will be a consultation day on 1st July, email@example.com
Rob Warwick explains where 2009 where the merits of each option
NHSBT is with the commissioning will be discussed. It is hoped that
of organ retrieval. contracts will be in place with
providers by the Autumn of this year.
All contract values and specifications This will give time for providers to
have been agreed with providers for start developing their services to start
2009/10 and attention has now in April 2010.
shifted to 2010 and beyond. Karen
Quinn, the newly appointed Assistant Work is underway to establish a
Director of UK Commissioning, will be Retrieval Consultation Group by the
leading this, with progress already Autumn. The aim of the Group will be
underway. In May 2009 the Retrieval to develop and monitor standards to
Working Group was established with ensure that we increase the number
the specific task of developing and of high quality organs retrieved.
assessing a number of options for the
size, number and operation of future For further information contact
organ retrieval services. This work has David Mayer (Clinical Lead) Rob Warwick.
Bulletin Summer 2009 9
Eye donation in the South West
Donor Transplant Co-ordinator Jacqueline Spencer
explains what lies behind the success of the South West
team eye donation figures.
The South West Donor Transplant Co-ordinators provide
Organ & Tissue Donation services for Devon, Cornwall &
Dorset. The team at present still facilitate all tissue donation
in the region and support the successful NHSBT Eye Retrieval
Scheme at the Royal Devon & Exeter NHS Foundation Trust.
The team has the highest percentage of multi-organ donors
that also donate eyes at 63%, compared to the rest of the
UK that ranges between 13-63% and averages at 29%.
Last year the South West region provided the most corneas
into the Corneal Transplant Service eye banks at 457, the
Royal Devon & Exeter provided 336 of those and121 came • The DTC team treat every donor much the same, whether
from the remainder of the region. organ or tissue. The donor family is offered a letter of
thanks within two weeks of the donation, and the
Three of the DTC team are trained in eye retrieval. This outcome is communicated within six weeks. Some tissue
responsibility is additional to the normal job description of a donor families have also requested home visits, but this is
DTC and came when it was realised that there was no one rare.
else available for retrieval and corneas often weren't being • The consent process does not differentiate between
taken over weekends, or for deaths that occur out of organs and tissues; the eye is after all, an organ.
hospital. The team felt strongly that if a family had consented • The team understand what happens during retrieval and
to donation that it would be unfair not to fulfil their wish due can explain fully what will happen.
to the inability to retrieve. At present, the DTC team only • Any staff involved in the care of the donor, are sent a letter
retrieve if every other resource has been explored. The team of thanks and an outcome letter.
have retrieved in funeral directors, community hospitals and • Historically, tissue donation has always been part of the
hospices. role of the DTC in the South West
• The South West has the highest percentage of its
Rise in donors population on the NHS Organ Donor Register
The DTC team have also seen over a 300% rise in the number • The team has always promoted tissue donation alongside
of multi-organ donors in the past five years. organs with no differentiation.
• The culture within the team is that all bereaved families be
The team have considered what it is that has contributed to offered the positive option of donation and that they
the success of tissue donation in the South West, and feel provide the best service possible with the most favourable
that there are several factors that could be responsible: result.
Eye Recipient I received a corneal transplant in 1989
to my left eye, and was diagnosed with
personally and professionally.
Edward Davies has received two the same condition in my right eye five Being a recipient gives me a unique
cornea transplants. He now works years later, for which I received a second insight into the benefits cornea
as an Eye Retrieval Co-ordinator for corneal transplant. These operations transplantation can bring and I am
Merseyside Eye Retrieval dramatically changed my life, my sight honored to have recently taken up the
Consortium. was now clear in both eyes. post of Eye Retrieval Co-ordinator for
one of the ten eye retrieval centres in
“It was only after leaving school at My corneal transplants got my life the UK.
16 and my vision was becoming back on track. I have been to college,
increasingly blurred that I decided to university and completed my nurse Without this gift I wouldn't be where I
visit the optician. After a number of training. I have worked within the am today, being able to promote a
visits I was diagnosed with a acute hospital setting and had the service where other people's lives can
condition called keratoconus, which opportunity to discuss tissue also be enhanced. If people are made
progressively turns corneas into donation with relatives, following aware of the benefits that eye
cone shapes and distorts light their sad loss. I found this part of donation can bring, other lives can be
entering the eye. my role very rewarding both changed as mine was.”
10 Bulletin Summer 2009