New figures out this week show that just 45% of families agree to organ donation going ahead if they are unaware of their loved one’s decision to be a donor but this figure rises to 95% when they know the decision.
To mark the start of this year’s National Transplant Week, Andrew Gwynne MP is highlighting the importance of telling family and friends of every donation decision.
The aim of this year’s Transplant Week campaign is to get people to ‘spell out’ their donation decision to increase awareness that families will be asked to agree to organ donation and to encourage more people to join the NHS Organ Donor Register.
On average 3 people a day die in need of an organ transplant in the UK because there aren’t enough organs available. Despite the thousands of life-saving transplant operations which take place every year, around 10,000 people are currently in need of a lifesaving organ transplant.
Andrew Gwynne MP said:
“Letting your loved ones know you want to be an organ donor is so important.”
“It is devastating for families when someone they love passes away so it’s not fair to expect them to have to make the decision for you.
“If you talk openly to your family about your decision to donate your organs it could save them a great deal of stress when you die.”
Sally Johnson, NHS Blood and Transplant’s Director of Organ Donation and Transplantation, added:
“We know that families are much less likely to allow organ donation to go ahead if they don’t know it’s what their loved one wanted. So have the conversation and spell it out.
“Tell those closest to you that you want to donate your organs after you die to help some of the 10,000 people in the UK currently in need of a life changing organ transplant.”
Sally Taber, British Kidney Patient Association Chair of Trustees, said:
“We hope that the message of transplant week will continue throughout the year. Our patients are enormously grateful to organ donors and their families for the gift of life.”
For further information about National Transplant Week and to register your organ donation decision go to http://www.tranplantweek.co.uk.
Follow NHS Blood and Transplant on twitter @NHSOrganDonor and support them on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/organdonationuk and remember to #spellitout