Every year thousands of lives are saved or transformed through the gift of a transplant but there remains a critical shortage of donor organs. Currently there are almost 7,000 people on the UK national transplant waiting list, but sadly three people die every day whilst waiting as there are not enough organs available. Despite more than 500,000 people dying each year in the UK, fewer than 5,000 people die in circumstances where they can become a donor.
After reviewing the process of organ donation the Government published a report in January 2008 with recommendations to address the issue of the shortage of donor organs.
Which organs can be donated?
Organs which can be donated after death include the heart, lungs, kidneys, liver, pancreas and small bowel. Tissue such as skin, bone, heart valves and corneas can also be used to help others. One donor can give life to several people and restore the sight of two more. Last year there were 1281 deceased donors in the UK, saving and transforming the lives of 3341 grateful recipients.
There is a critical shortage of organs and the gap between the number of organs donated and the number of people waiting for a transplant is increasing. Currently, it is estimated that about 61 people in our area are on the transplant list waiting for organs.
NHS Organ Donor Register
There are currently over 21,000,000 people registered on the NHS Organ Donor Register, but this is still little more than 30% of the population. We know that a donation decision is easier for families if their loved one's wishes are known. We also would like to raise awareness of organ donation in the community we serve, and encourage people to sign up to the Organ Donor Register.
You can add your name to the Organ Donor Register here, or call the NHS Organ Donor Line on 0300 123 23 23. Lines are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and are charged at your contracted rate for local calls.
Think – “Would you take an organ if you needed one?”
NHS Organ Donor Register: www.organdonation.nhs.uk
Organ Donation and Transplantation: http://odt.nhs.uk