The NHS, in its Organ Donation and Transplantation Activity Report released on Thursday (September 1), say more people than ever before across the UK donated their organs after their deaths last year,
But the report also shows that around 40 per cent of families in the UK did not agree to donate a relative’s organs. The NHS say this has seen many patients miss out on their only opportunity for a transplant, with an estimated five people in West Sussex dying while waiting for a transplant
The NHS say it is drawing attention to the situation in West Sussex in the run up to Organ Donation Week, which starts on Monday (September 5).
Sally Johnson, director of organ donation and transplantation at the NHS, said: “We’re very grateful to every family in West Sussex who supported a relative’s decision to donate or who made the decision to donate on behalf of their relative last year. Quite simply, without them being willing to support donation more than 3,500 transplants couldn’t have taken place in the UK. Many families in West Sussex tell us they take huge comfort in knowing that their relative has saved the lives of others.
“We recognise that families are approached about organ donation at a difficult time, but with almost all of us prepared to take an organ if we need one, we need to be ready to donate too. Think about what we would want others to do for us if we ever need a transplant and be prepared to donate. Talking to your relatives about what you want is crucial as it is much more difficult to agree to donation when you don’t know what the patient would have wanted. There are 69 people in West Sussex waiting for a transplant now and they need people to agree to donate for them to get the organ transplant they so desperately need.
“It is especially important for people from our Black and Asian communities to talk about organ donation. I realise that this is a very difficult subject but there are many Black and Asian people who need a transplant. While some are able to receive an organ from a white donor, others will die if there is no donor from their own community.”
If you would like to help others after your death tell your family your want to be an organ donor and join the NHS Organ Donor Register.
To join the NHS Organ Donor Register visit www.organdonation.nhs.uk or call 0300 123 2323.
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