A specialist nurse is to be a national champion for living organ donation.
Lisa Burnapp has been appointed as the first ever lead nurse for living donation at NHS Blood and Transplant.
The organisation said the newly created role would be “key to further developing living organ donation in the UK”, and reflected the growing trend in living organ donation, with nearly one in three kidney transplants now being made possible through a living donor.
Ms Burnapp, previously consultant nurse for living donor kidney transplantation at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Trust, will support the living donor coordinators across the UK and develop strategy to support a national expansion of living donor activity.
She said: “I’m very pleased to be taking on this role at NHSBT. Living donation is an increasingly important area of clinical transplantation practice and I am looking forward to contributing towards and supporting future developments in the living donor programme.”
The shortage of organs for transplantation has led to an increasing number of organ donations by living people. The total number of living donor kidney transplants increased by 12 per cent in 2009-10, from 927 in 2008-09 to 1,037 in 2009-10.
There were also 32 kidney transplants during 2009-10 through the paired living kidney donation programme which is administered by NHS Blood and Transplant.
The most common organ donated by a living person is a kidney, as a healthy person can lead a completely normal life with only one functioning kidney.
Other forms of living donation include transplanting part of the liver and it is also be possible to donate a segment of a lung and, in a very small number of cases, part of the small bowel.