Page last updated at 09:15 GMT, Thursday, 12 March 2009

New record for kidney transplants

Derriford Hospital began kidney transplants in 1973

More people received a new kidney in Devon and Cornwall last year than ever before, it has been announced.

The renal unit at Derriford Hospital in Plymouth carried out 75 transplants - the highest number since it began operations in 1973.

Jacob Akoh, Clinical Director for Surgery and Renal Services said the transplants included three people who donated a kidney to a stranger.

"This is a great gift of life which is much appreciated," he said.

'Silent killer'

Abouth 3,000 people in the South West are currently receiving treatment for kidney disease.

The charity Kidney Alliance said new research has highlighted the link between high blood pressure and kidney disease, which is often known by as the "silent killer".

To mark World Kidney Day, the charity has urged people with high blood pressure to have themselves tested.

Alliance spokeswoman Fiona Loud, who has had a transplant, said a simple test could put people's mind at rest.

"About one in 10 adults have some form of kidney damage, but most of us take our kidneys for granted until they go wrong," she said.

"You can have kidney disease without being aware of it. There are often no symptoms until it is quite advanced - that's why the 'silent killer' tag has such a sombre ring.

"The message to people across the South West is simple - if you think you might be at risk, it's important to ask your doctor for a test, even if you feel well."


There is still not enough kidneys for transplants

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