The number of organ donors in the UK and Republic of Ireland fell by 7 per cent last year, as waiting lists continued to grow.

In an introduction to the UK Transplant Support Service Authority's review of activity for 1998, UKTSSA chair John Shaw describes the fall in donors as 'disappointing'.

He describes an increase in the number of live-donor transplants as 'most welcome' but 'nevertheless insufficient to keep pace with waiting- list increases'.

The report says 847 UK and Republic of Ireland donors provided 2,965 solid organs for transplant. Living donors provided a further 283, and 30 organs came from overseas.

Although the number of donors dropped by 7 per cent in 1998, overall transplant activity declined by 5 per cent.

The report says 2,559 cadaveric transplants and 279 living donor transplants were carried out in 1998.

The total waiting-list rose by 1 per cent to 6,539.

The number of live kidney donors increased by 40 per cent, and the 245 living donor transplants carried out in 1998 represented 14 per cent of the kidney transplant programme.

Transplant Activity 1998.

UKTSSA, Fox Den Road, Stoke Gifford, Bristol BS34 8RR.£25.