Transplantation depends entirely on organ donation, and most organs are donated after death in the UK. Although living donation is well publicised, the surgical process which takes place to remove and preserve organs from deceased donors is less well known.

Organ Retrieval Surgery is highly specialised and is performed by only 16 surgical teams in the UK.  Retrieval Edinburgh is the specialised team based at the Royal Infirmary.  The team is on call, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

When called out, Surgeons and Theatre Staff in the National Organ Retrieval Service travel to deceased donors across the UK to remove and preserve organs safely and carefully for transplantation, restoring quality of life and years of life to thousands of people every year.

In order to get the best match between donated organs and transplant recipients, organs are frequently sent many miles from the donor hospital to the transplant centre caring for the matched patient.  Retrieval Teams preserve and pack the organs so that they will be safely transported to the recipient.  Once surgery is completed, the team return to base to rest and await the next call.

The Retrieval Edinburgh Team Recieve New Transport Vehicle
The Retrieval Edinburgh Team standing in front of their new transport vehicle.

The members of Retrieval Edinburgh are delighted to receive their new transport vehicle, which will allow for safe travels across the country, so they can do their life-saving work on behalf of the NHS in Scotland.