Doctors 'fail to ask for organs'

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The Independent Online
DOCTORS often do not ask relatives of fatal accident victims to donate organs from the body, even when they carried donor cards.

Leslie Rout, director of the National Kidney Research Fund, said: 'We are not getting all the kidneys available after accidents because of the reluctance of doctors to ask. It is estimated that there are 4,000 cases of brain death in the UK each year.

'This should produce about 8,000 kidneys . . . but the reality underlines the fact that permission to remove kidneys is not being asked of all relatives.'

A spokesman for the fund said that more than 1,000 people die each year waiting for kidney transplants.

A seven-month-old baby boy was 'satisfactory' in hospital last night after a surgeon at the Royal Aberdeen Children's Hospital was reported to have removed the wrong kidney, leaving a diseased one in his body.

An internal inquiry is now underway and results are expected today.

Although rare, such mistakes have been made before.