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Belfast hospital carries out five kidney transplants in one day

Published 28/09/2015

Transplant patients, back row left to right, Audrius Orinas, Aidan Murtagh and John Finnigan, and front row, Fiona Anderson and John McGinley (Belfast City Hospital/PA)
Transplant patients, back row left to right, Audrius Orinas, Aidan Murtagh and John Finnigan, and front row, Fiona Anderson and John McGinley (Belfast City Hospital/PA)
Belfast City Hospital has equalled a UK record by performing five kidney transplants in 24 hours

A Belfast hospital has equalled a UK record for the number of transplants carried out in a single day.

The five kidney transplant procedures in Belfast City Hospital fell just one short of the world record six in 24 hours held by a hospital in Texas, USA.

A team of 14 doctors, 20 nurses and three scientists were involved. Several operating theatre nurses came into work on their day off to facilitate the huge surgical undertaking.

The five patients were Audrius Orinas, from Dungannon, Aidan Murtagh, from Newry, John Finnigan, from Cushendall, Fiona Anderson, from Garvagh, and John McGinley, from Londonderry.

All were on long-term dialysis with end-stage kidney failure from a range of causes, including Type 1 diabetes.

Between them they had been on the transplant waiting list for a total of 10 years, with one patient having waited five years.

The youngest recipient was 41 and the oldest 56.

The operations took place on September 13.

Transplant surgeon James McDaid, who carried out three of the procedures, said: "When you consider the relative size of Northern Ireland versus the US, to be just one transplant off the world record represents surprising throughput, and I attribute this to the commitment of the team at City Hospital to transforming lives."

Fellow transplant surgeon Tim Brown said: "Our five patients with end-stage kidney failure have now received a phenomenal gift allowing them to undergo a dramatic life transformation.

"All five patients were home within eight days of their surgery, off dialysis and back to a more normal life. Our thoughts and heartfelt gratitude go out to each of the donor families. Their selfless decision to donate has enabled our patients to receive 'the gift of life'."

Belfast Health and Social Care Trust was allocated five kidneys from across the NHS on Saturday September 12. The five recipients were called to Belfast City Hospital on Saturday evening and prepared for surgery by the ward nursing team and nephrologists.

The five kidneys arrived just before midnight on the Saturday and the tissue typing laboratory began the work of ensuring the kidneys matched each recipient.

The first transplant began at 1.30am on Sunday September 13 and the last finished at 11pm that evening.

Mr McDaid performed three procedures, with Mr Brown and Mr Mohie Omar doing the other two.

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