New figures 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 their loved one has chosen to donate their organs. MP for Carshalton and Wallington, Tom Brake, attended this year’s National Transplant Week event in Parliament, organised by NHS Blood and Transplant and the British Kidney Patient Association to highlight the importance of telling family and friends your donation decision.
The aim of this year’s Transplant Week campaign was 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.
Tom said, “Letting your loved ones know you want to be an organ donor is so important. I have let mine know. It is devastating for families when someone they love passes away and it’s not fair or right to expect your family to have to make a decision under all sorts of pressure to donate your organs – by making them aware you could save them from a great deal of extra stress and heartache before you die.
We never know what tomorrow will bring, but I hope that even when I am no longer here, the last deed that I do is to be able to help someone who needs it.”
At present, there are 27,442 Carshalton and Wallington residents on the Organ Donor Register. 38 residents have had a transplant between 2009 and 2014 and there are 19 residents who are on the current waiting list for an organ transplant. And 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.
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.”
To register your organ donation decision go to www.transplantweek.co.uk. Follow NHS Blood and Transplant on twitter @NHSOrganDonor and Facebook www.facebook.com/organdonationuk and remember to #spellitout.
The British Kidney Patient Association supports kidney patients; to find out more please visit www.britishkidney-pa.co.uk or follow them on twitter @The_BKPA.