Organ Donations Save Lives - May 2016 News Archive

May 5th 2016

The HSE Organ Donation and Transplant Ireland (ODTI) 2015 Annual Report was published today.  This report outlines the main activities of ODTI in 2015, and includes activity and outcomes in organ donation and transplant in Ireland, and outlines plans and goals for ODTI for 2016.

The ODTI office was established to provide governance, integration and leadership for organ donation and transplantation in Ireland.  There are three transplant centres in Ireland; the Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, St. Vincent’s University Hospital and Beaumont Hospital.  Last year a total of 266 people received a life saving organ transplant   thanks to the generosity of 81 families donating their organs to their loved ones and 33 people donating their kidney to a family member in 2015. 

Professor Jim Egan, Director of HSE Organ Donation and Transplant Ireland said: “Last year 266 people received the gift of life.  The need for organ transplants continues to increase.  There were 648 patients waiting for an organ transplant at the end of 2015.  At the end of 2015, there were 2,015 people in Ireland on renal dialysis with End Stage Kidney Failure (ESKF) for which the only treatment option for many is kidney transplant.  This figure has doubled since 2003.  A new record of 36 was set for lung transplants in Ireland in 2015, which is one of the highest rates in Europe. 61 liver transplants and 16 heart transplants also took place. Pancreas transplant has relocated to St. Vincent’s University Hospital and a team are now in place to deliver the transplant programme.  Most importantly, the ODTI office would like to acknowledge the courage and generosity of families that have donated their loved one’s organs

“During 2015 the first innovative new lung transplant procedure using ex-vivo lung perfusion, the first such operation of its kind in Ireland was performed at the Mater Misericordiae University Hospital. This new technique greatly enhances the potential lung donor pool.  The first ever combined heart and lung transplant was also carried out at the Mater Misericordiae University Hospital in 2015.  When a donation does occur and a patient receives life saving organ transplant, outcomes for transplant recipients in Ireland rank amongst the best in Europe.  Ireland has a strong record in caring for its transplant recipients”, continued Professor Egan.

Minister for Health Leo Varadkar acknowledged the skill of transplant teams across the three transplant centres, and the commitment of staff in hospitals across the country who initiate donations and ensure that transplantations happen. He thanked Professor Jim Egan and his team in Organ Donation and Transplant Ireland for their ongoing commitment.

The Minister encouraged everyone to share their views on organ donation with their loved ones, as this increases the likelihood of their wishes being realised and can also give peace of mind to their next-of-kin. He also thanked all the families who have facilitated the donation or organs of their loved ones who have given the gift of life to several recipients.

Since April 2015 the ODTI has taken the lead on developments to improve organ donation and transplantation rates for Ireland.  Investment has been made in enhancing the national organ procurement service and in implementing new regulations for quality and safety.  Key organ donation staff were also employed for the first time in 2015 in each of the Hospital Groups around the country.

The new National Organ Procurement Service has worked in co-operation with the key organ donation staff to raise awareness and provide training in best practices for organ donation.  As a result of the work of these teams, more families are now considering the real possibility of organ donation of their loved one’s organs, a considerable increase of 35% on the previous year.

Living kidney donation plays a vital role in transplantation.  Once again we have seen a strong year for living donors.  The National Organ Donation and Transplant Office plans to build on this success by working in cooperation with all the stakeholders involved, including the patient organisations, the transplant centres, organ donating hospitals and all the other supporting services, to provide more transplants and reduce the waiting time for transplant recipient patients.

Organ Donation and Transplant Ireland commissioned IPSOS MRBI in February 2015 to conduct a research study that would provide evidence of the levels of public support for organ donation in Ireland.  The results of this research study are available on  Some of the findings of the study include:

  • The majority of the general public stated that they were well informed about organ donation
  • More than 8 in 10 people stated that they would be willing to donate their own organs or donate the organs of a close family member (85%). However, only half (50%) of respondents have discussed organ donation with their family.
  • The statement ‘one organ donor can save 5 lives’ was considered the most effective media communication by 83% of respondents.

Without exception, each transplant centre has provided a complete and responsive service for the Irish public.  The new Organ Donation Regional personnels and ICUs in the organ donating hospitals across Ireland have worked closely, co operatively and professionally with the transplant centres and ODTI.

A copy of the Annual Report is available here or on

Last updated on: 05 / 05 / 2016