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Last Updated: Sunday, 9 July 2006, 06:43 GMT 07:43 UK
SW sees high rate of organ donors
Image of an operation
More than 50 kidney transplants were carried out at Derriford in 2005
The South West has a higher percentage of its population on the organ donor register than the national average.

The region has 28% on the register compared with a national average of 22%, Derriford Hospital said as part of the start of National Transplant Week.

The South West Transplant Centre had its highest number kidney transplants ever in 2005, with 51 operations.

The hospital added changes in the law which prioritised the wishes of the deceased would help when they started.

Wishes fulfilled

It said it wanted to build on the good work and encourage even more people in the South West to sign up to be organ donors.

Donor transplant co-ordinator Jacquie Spencer said: "One of the reasons for the rise in transplants is that people now have more choice about how they are able to donate.

"The Live Kidney Donor programme has successfully expanded and more people are now offering to donate to family member."

She added: "In September 2006, the new Human Tissue Act 2004 comes into play. This act now puts the wishes of the deceased as paramount.

"Therefore if someone has consented to organ and tissue donation in life, by either carrying a donor card or registering on the NHS Organ Donor Register, then those wishes will be fulfilled wherever possible."

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