Forth Valley Renal Transplant Rate Highest in Scotland

Twenty Forth Valley residents received kidney transplants last year – the highest number ever during a single year. Almost a fifth of those developing irreversible renal failure (19%) received a transplant without ever needing to start dialysis, a pre-emptive procedure. This is more than twice the Scottish average of 8%.

Consultant Nephrologist  Dr Bruce Mackinnon said:  “Kidney transplantation is the best form of treatment for individuals who develop irreversible or end stage kidney disease. For patients the benefits are improved survival as well as increased quality of life. The multi-disciplinary renal team in NHS Forth Valley has have put a great deal of effort into making sure that our patients with end stage renal disease have access to transplantation. This is reflected in the increased numbers of Forth Valley  patients receiving renal transplants in 2015.”

Most renal transplants for patients from Forth Valley take place in Glasgow, though those with diabetes who may require a kidney and pancreas transplant are seen in Edinburgh.

Transplantation, however, is not suitable for all patients. In Forth Valley there are 90-100 patients on regular out-patient haemodialysis of whom 30% will be fit enough to be considered for transplantation and be on the deceased donor transport list. Patients can be added to the transplant list up to 6 months before they need to start dialysis or can receive a live donor transplant from a relative or friend before they develop end stage renal disease. These transplants are termed pre-emptive.

Outcomes after kidney transplant are improving and, among Scottish patients transplanted in the last 10 years, 95% of transplants are still functioning at 1 year and 88% at 5 years. In Forth Valley the figures are 95.3% and 89% respectively.

Transplant activity has gradually increased over the last decade and patients in Forth Valley have benefitted from this. Between 2011 and 2014, 13-14 Forth Valley patients received a kidney transplant each year. As of last December,156 patients living in FV had a functioning renal transplant 20 of which were performed in 2015.