- Over 8,500 people die each year from chronic liver disease in the UK.
- The NHS rejects 1 out of 5 livers that are donated because they are not considered to be of good enough quality to be used.
- The VITTAL study wanted to help with this problem by using Liver Perfusion to see if more livers can be made available for patients.
Chronic liver disease in the UK is rising every year, a result of obesity and increasing alcohol misuse. For patients who have end-stage liver disease (liver failure), a transplant is the only hope for survival, but demand for donated livers suitable for transplantation far outstrips supply.
According to NHS Blood and Transplant after a year on the NHS list for a liver transplant, 8% of patients had died while still waiting for a chance to have this life-saving operation.
A growing proportion of donated livers are coming from donors with a history of alcohol misuse, obesity or elderly people who also have other health conditions. These types of livers tend to be of lower quality and most of them cannot be used for transplantation.