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Dublin: 6°C Wednesday 19 January 2022

Record number of lung transplants carried out in Ireland this year, new figures show

Simon Harris said he hopes more people will donate organs through he Human Tissue Bill.

Image: Shutterstock/Herrndorff

THE PAST 12 months saw a record number of heart transplants performed in Ireland, new figures from the HSE show. 

Some 38 people received a lung transplant this year – an increase of a third on the previous year and an increase of 33 on the number of lung transplants in 2009. 

Meanwhile, there were 153 kidney transplants, 66 liver transplants, 15 heart transplants and two pancreas transplants. 

Those transplants involved organs donated from 25 living donors and 85 deceased donors. 

Health Minister Simon Harris is encouraging everybody to carry a donor card so their organs can be donated in the event that they pass away. 

“So many lives are saved through the gift of organ donation. We saw the highest number of lung transplants ever taking place in our country in 2019.”

“I’d like to add my huge thanks and gratitude to everybody who’s made the decision this year to donate organs, either their own organs as living donors or indeed, organs of a loved one. 

“We need to do more and we intend to do more in this regard as well. We’re going to change the law [...] in relation to bringing in the Human Tissue Bill. 

“I think what that will do is facilitate conversations around every kitchen table about what you would like to happen to your organs if something happened to you.” 

The Human Tissue Bill will automatically opt people in for organ donation unless they actively opt out but with a caveat that family members and loved ones will have the final say around organ donation. 

“At the time of great tragedy, your loved ones should have the final say. But what it does is it changes the entire culture. It presumes everybody in our country, should the circumstances arise, wishes to be an organ donor unless you specifically said ‘I do not wish to’. 

“I think it will make it easier for families as well, because many of us will have had that conversation in advance of a very difficult and tragic time. We know from other countries this has been a very significant success.”

Harris also announced an additional €500,000 for the National Organ Retrieval Service which helps store and transport organs for transplant. 

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