The report is a timely reminder of the core message of this year’s European Day for Organ Donation and Transplantation for families to have the conversation to share their wishes about organ donation. This day will be held on the 9th of October. (Link below)
COVID-19 has had a major detrimental impact on kidney patients and transplant operations. Kidney transplant operations ceased temporarily in the first stage of the pandemic in 2020. Thanks to dedicated and hardworking healthcare staff, operations have resumed, but COVID-19 continues to have an impact due to the high risk of infection and pressures in the healthcare system. For example, there were no kidney transplant operations in March and June 2021
There is a need for more management information on each step of the donor offer/retrieval/transplant process. This would help to identify exactly where the obstacles are. Is it a lack of donors, lack of theatre space, lack of ICU beds, lack of staff, etc.
There is a need for additional funding for transplant/treatment activity with ring fencing of transplant activities in acute general hospitals.
Transplantation is the gold medal standard treatment for kidney failure. Not only does it improve patient outcomes, it also reduces costs in the health care system. (See note below)
We look forward to working closely with the Department of Health and the HSE to develop the necessary infrastructure to support the successful roll out of the Human Tissue Bill.
We would also like to acknowledge the generosity of donor families, who even in the time of COVID-19 decided to help others. The Irish Kidney Association will be honouring their sacrifice at our annual Service of Remembrance and Thanksgiving later this year.
Source for European Day materials:
2018 Average cost of dialysis €68,000 per patient
2018 Average cost of transplant €12,000 per patient in clinic post-transplant
Saving of up to €1.2 million per patient