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26th Sep 2022
This Organ Donation Week (26 September - 2 October) NHS Blood and Transplant is urging people to register their donation decision and talk to their families about organ donation as almost 10,000 people in the UK are in need of a lifesaving transplant.
Last year 4,324 people waiting for an organ transplant had their lives saved by the generosity of the 1,397 deceased organ donors and their families who gave the gift of life. Over half of those had recorded their decision on the NHS Organ Donor Register. However, 6,500 people are still actively waiting for a transplant with a further 3,000 currently temporarily suspended.
Only around 1% of people who die in the UK every year are usually able to donate their organs after death. Donors are typically those who have died in a hospital intensive care unit or emergency department due to brain injuries, cardiac arrest or other trauma.
Last year (2021/22) 605 families declined to support organ donation, for reasons other than knowing that their relative didn’t wish to be a donor. With each donor giving an average of three organs, it is estimated that this could equate up to 1,815 missed opportunities for those waiting for a transplant. It is vital that everyone who wants to be a donor registers their decision on the NHS Organ Donor Register and talks it through with their families who will be expected to support their decision should the time come.
Families are far more likely to support donation when they already know it was what their relative wanted. More than 92% of families honoured their family member last year when the donor had either proactively registered their decision to donate on the NHS Organ Donor Register or spoken with their family.
Want to show your support this Organ Donation Week?
Alder Hey Children's Charity