National Organ Donation Week 4th – 10th Sept
2014/15 saw more than 4,400 (4,431) people in the UK have their lives saved or improved by an organ transplant but the number of people that donated organs has fallen for the first time in 11 years.
Statistics show the number of transplants has decreased from 4,655 to 4,431.This is a 5% decrease and means that 224 fewer people received an organ transplant.
Of the transplants carried out, 1,092 were made possible by living donors who gave a kidney or part of their liver, while 3,339 patients benefited from organs donated after death.
A donation is where a person donates their organs and tissues for transplant to someone else.
You can help save thousands of lives in the UK every year by signing up to become an organ donor. Anyone can register to donate their organs and tissue when they die, regardless of their age.
Becoming an organ donor only takes a few minutes to register online, but can bring a lifetime of health and happiness to those who are waiting for a transplant. Sadly, on average, around 3 people die every day waiting for a suitable organ.
Organ and tissue donation
Most organs are donated by deceased donors and used to help someone who needs a transplant. Some organs, like the kidney and liver, can be donated by living donors.
Incredible advances in medical science mean that more people each year are able to benefit from donated tissue, including corneas and bone.
Not totally convinced that you should register as an organ donor? Here are seven reasons why everyone should!
1 - Plenty of people are in need
Imagine the largest football stadium in America overflowing with men and women. Now you have some idea of how many people need organ transplants to survive.
2 - You could improve or save lives!
You’ve probably dreamed of ways to change the world. Registering as an organ donor could be one of them. Donating your organs can save up to eight lives and further enhances the lives of 50 more people. These aren’t just numbers that you’re helping. They’re neighbours, teachers, parents, sons, daughters, aunts, children – they’re people who probably have dreams of inspiring change in the world just like you.
3 - There are no religious restrictions, age limits and very few medical disqualifications
Most of excuses are just myths and misinformation. In fact, organ donation doesn’t transgress the beliefs of any major religions, including Roman Catholicism, Islam, most branches of Judaism and most types of Protestantism. As for age, while those under 18 would need the legal permission of their parents, anyone can donate. In fact, children often need organ donations as well and require smaller organs than typically found in adults.
Now, what if your body really isn’t fully functioning and you have certain medical conditions or diseases? You can still be a superhero and save lives. Very few medical conditions disqualify people from donating organs and, if some organs are too unhealthy to be transplanted, other organs and tissues may still be viable.
4 - Organs are only donated after all life-saving efforts have failed
You’ve probably seen the horror movies, read the Steven King novels and woken up from plenty of nightmares about organs being donated before you’re actually dead. Though, this is a frightening – but false – myth. Your level of medical care will also be unaffected by your organ donor status. If you go to the hospital, doctors will do everything they can to save your life. Only after these efforts have failed will your body be considered for organ donation.
5 - It's priceless … in personal value and cost
Besides the emotional value of saving someone’s life, registering to donate organs is completely free. Not to mention, registering is super easy! If you didn’t check the box on the paperwork for your driver’s license originally, you can also fill out a form at https://www.organdonation.nhs.uk/
6 - It could comfort your grieving family after you pass away
If you’ve watched any crime or medical shows, then you’ve probably witnessed scenes in which donors’ families meet the recipients after surgery and feel a “connection.” Now, most of this is probably Hollywood magic – but your family could still be comforted by your status as an organ donor. Donating your organs can at least give your death the positive of improving others’ lives.
7 - You could change lives even in death
After you pass away, you’re not going to be walking around or using your body. Why not, then, utilize your body and give it to someone who needs it? In this way, you – and the love, sacrifice, empathy and hope that probably spurred your decision to be an organ donor – can live on even when you don’t.