Transplants That Can Save Lives Are Getting Delayed As Covid Patients Occupy Beds

Published On:January 18, 2021, 3:26 pm

Several patients are losing out on potentially life-saving organ transplant surgery as peiople suffering from coronavirus fill hospital intensive care beds, The Independent has learned. One of London's major organ donation centres, as well as Birmingham's Queen Elizabeth Hospital and Cambridge's Addenbrooke's Hospital, were forced to close their doors to transplant cases due to a shortage of beds, an elevated risk to patients, and the need to redeploy doctors and nurses to the front line of coronavirus. On Wednesday, hospitals across England had more than 32,600 Covid-19 patients, with NHS bosses warning that the numbers will continue to increase until the end of the month in some regions.

On Wednesday, a record 1,564 coronavirus-related deaths were recorded, and 47,525 new infections. As NHS trusts run out of spare beds to treat non-Covid patients, the impact on organ donation services is due to hundreds of urgent cancer operations being postponed in London and around the nation. In the hardest-hit areas, most regular activities have also been halted. As a result of the first and second waves of the virus, there has already been a 21% decrease in the number of transplant operations conducted in 2020 compared to 2019. NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) announced that in 2020, there were 3,102 operations, compared to 3,948 a year earlier.

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