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Organ Donors

Volume 481: debated on Monday 20 October 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what percentage of donor hearts were found to be diseased or otherwise defective prior to transplantation in the latest period for which figures are available; (226860)

(2) what percentage of hearts removed from donors (a) were transplanted into recipients, (b) reached their destination hospital within four hours of ischaemic time and (c) were not transplanted into recipients in the latest period for which figures are available.

Organs are offered to transplant centres for potential transplantation into patients on the basis of the information available about the donor. Transplant centres may decline organs based on the information supplied before they are retrieved.

Between April 2007 and March 2008 of the 444 hearts which were offered for transplantation, 317 were not accepted because they were damaged, had poor function or for a reason unrelated to the condition of the heart. Of the 127 hearts retrieved, only three were found to be unsuitable on arrival at the transplant centre.

As for the time between removal and perfusion of the heart to arrival at the recipient hospital in 116 of 127 cases, in over 99 per cent. of cases the organ reached the destination hospital in less than four hours.