The number of people living in East Sussex currently known to be alive thanks to organ transplants has reached 483.
This figure is revealed by NHS Blood and Transplant, whose annual Transplant Activity Report, published today (Friday, July 7), shows the UK-wide number of people alive thanks to transplants has reached the milestone figure of 50,000.
NHS Blood and Transplant is now urging people in East Sussex to help even more people to survive by joining the NHS Organ Donor Register.
More people are alive thanks to transplants because of improving survival rates and increased public commitment to donation. In East Sussex, the number of people on the Organ Donor Register has increased by 28 per cent over the past five years. There are now 362,996 people on the NHS Organ Donor Register in East Sussex, compared to 282,832 five years ago.
This includes 130,449 people on the organ donor register in The City of Brighton and Hove, compared to 104,934 five years ago.
Anyone can sign up as a donor on the NHS Organ Donor Register. How old you are or any existing medical conditions shouldn’t stop you from signing up. You could save or transform up to nine people’s lives by donating your organs when you die and help even more by donating tissue.
Nationally, the number of people on the NHS Organ Donor Register reached a record number, 23.6 million. Today 36 per cent of the UK’s population is on the NHS Organ Donor Register, compared to 30 per cent five years ago.
The public support for donation also means more people in East Sussex are receiving lifesaving and life enhancing transplants. Last year 45 people in East Sussex had transplants, compared to 33 five years ago. Last year 16 people in The City of Brighton and Hove had transplants, compared to 11 five years ago.
Despite the record breaking public commitment to donation, there is still a shortage of organ donors. Nationally, three people still die a day in need of a transplant.
There are still around 6,400 people currently waiting for a transplant. This is a particular need for people to register from black and Asian backgrounds. People from the same ethnic background are more likely to be a match but there are not enough black and Asian donors.
Sally Johnson, director of organ donation and transplantation for NHS Blood and Transplant, said: “More people than ever in East Sussex are committing to organ donation and that is saving more lives than ever. It’s amazing to picture all the people now alive today thanks to organ donation and think of all the families and children who have grown up thanks to donors.
“We’re seeing more and more people committing to donation and the good results of our close work with hospitals. Our specialist nurses in organ donation are now almost always involved in discussions with families over organ donation.
“However there is still a long way to go. Around three people still die a day in need of a transplant. Every one of those people who die could be a mother or a father, a daughter or a son, who might be alive today.
“Families tell us donation is a source of pride that helps them in their grieving process. We don’t want anyone in East Sussex to miss the opportunity to save lives through organ donation. Please join the NHS Organ Donor Register. It only takes two minutes.”
In 2013, the UK Governments and NHS Blood and Transplant launched a seven year organ donation and transplantation strategy Taking Organ Transplantation to 2020. To view or download the strategy go to: http://www.nhsbt.nhs.uk/to2020/
To join the NHS Organ Donor Register see www.organdonation.nhs.uk