We are testing a new beta website for gov.scot go to new site

Organ Donation Teaching Resource Pack

Listen

Organ Donation
Teaching Resource Pack

Transplantation Milestones

History of Transplantation

Aim

To create awareness of the history of transplantation and its development to the present day.

About Transplantation

Organ donation and transplantation is the process of removing an organ from one person and implanting it in another. The organ being removed must be donated ('gifted'). Following a transplant about 2,700 people take on a new lease of life in the UK every year.

Kidney transplants are the most commonly performed. Transplants are regularly carried out on the heart, liver, lungs and pancreas.

Tissue such as corneas, heart valves, skin, bone and tendons can also be donated and transplanted.

Today more than 5,500 people in the UK are waiting for an organ transplant that could save their life or dramatically improve their quality of life.

Transplants are one of the most miraculous achievements of modern medicine. However, they depend on the generosity of donors and their families.

The increasing effectiveness of transplantation means that many more patients can be considered for treatment. More people also need a transplant, but there is a serious shortage of donor organs. For some people this means waiting, sometimes for years, and undergoing difficult and stressful treatment. For all too many it means they will die before a suitable organ becomes available.

Transplantation Milestones

1902

Alexis Carrel demonstrates method of joining blood vessels to make organ transplant feasible.

1905

First reported cornea transplant takes place Olmutz, Moravia (now Czech Republic).

1918

Blood transfusion becomes established.

1948

Foundation of the National Health Service.

1954

First kidney transplant operation performed in USA.

1960

First successful living donor kidney transplant performed in UK.

1963

First liver transplant.

1965

First kidney transplant in UK using organ from a person who has died.

1967

First heart transplant operation performed by Dr Christian Barnard in South Africa.

1968

First heart transplant in UK.

1968

First liver transplant in UK.

1968

National Tissue Typing and Reference Laboratory (NTTRL) established at Southmead Hospital, Bristol.

1971

Kidney donor card introduced in UK.

1972

National Organ Matching and Distribution Service (NOMDS) founded in Bristol.

1979

NTTRL and NOMDS merge to become UK Transplant Service.

1980s

First transplant co-ordinators appointed.

1981

UK kidney donor card changed to multi-organ card including kidneys, corneas, heart, liver and pancreas.

1983

Launch of the UK Cornea Transplant Service (CTS).

1983

First combined heart and lung transplant in UK.

1985

Lungs added to the UK donor card.

1986

First lung-only transplant in UK.

1986

Establishment of the Bristol Eye Bank.

1987

First 'domino' UK heart transplant, where the patient receiving a heart and lung transplant donated their healthy heart to another.

1989

Establishment of the Manchester Eye Bank.

1991

UK Transplant Service becomes special health authority and is re-named United Kingdom Transplant Support Service Authority (UKTSSA).

1994

NHS Organ Donor Register established.

1994

First living donor liver transplant in UK.

1995

First living donor lung lobe transplant in UK.

2000

NHS UK Transplant takes over from UKTSSA with new, extended remit.