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Organ transplants at record level

A record number of organ transplants were carried out last year, health officials said.

Between 2011 and 2012, 3,960 transplants were carried out in the UK, NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) said.

It is the seventh successive year that the number of transplants has risen, a spokesman said.

There has been a 2% increase in organ donation from brain dead patients and in the last three years the rate of cornea donation has increased by 42%, according to the figures.

Almost a million additional people signed up to the organ donor register in the last year, making the total number more than 18,600,000 - or 30% of the population.

NHSBT director of organ donation and transplantation Sally Johnson said: “This report shows that things are moving in the right direction but three people on the waiting list are dying every day without receiving a transplant.

“We need to carry on making people aware of the difference they can make by signing up to the organ donor register and discussing their wishes with their family and friends.

“The family refusal rate for organ donation in the UK is one of the highest in Europe at 45% and we know a large part of that is down to people not discussing their wishes with their families.”

Health minister Simon Burns said: “I’m pleased to see that organ donation is increasing but we always need more donors.

“A greater number of lives can be saved if more people sign up to the register. There are more ways than ever before to enrol and it’s important that people tell their family if they want to be a donor.”

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