As organ donation week (3 – 9 September) is in full swing, this is the perfect time to register as an organ donor – if you haven’t already.
Unfortunately, across the UK there is not enough organ donors, which means on average three people die every day in need of a transplant, according to the NHS.
Currently the UK has an ‘opt in’ policy meaning if a person wishes to donate their organs they must register themselves and receive a donor card.
Wales is the only country within the UK that has an ‘opt out’ option at present, meaning residents can clearly declare if they are happy to opt in, do nothing and therefore be seen as giving “deemed consent” or wish to opt out removing themselves from any organ donation.
— NHS England London (@NHSEnglandLDN) September 5, 2018
To become an organ donor it’s easy, you simply register onto the NHS Organ Donor Register and declare the organs you’re happy to be used after your passing. However, the main issue with organ donation is the criteria allowing a transplant to occur.
An organ can only be used from a person who has died in hospital and within a short window of time for the transplant completed. This means it is estimated that only around 5000 people across the UK die annually that fit into this criteria.
Anyone can become an organ donor, regardless of age. As long as a child has their parent’s permission they can also register. And it is important that more people do register.
As of 31 August 2018, figures from the NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) showed that there are 25,661,697 people on the Organ Donor Register across the UK but up to 3,000 potential donations are lost annually due to families saying no to potential organ donations.
This Organ Donation Week we're encouraging families to discuss organ donation and share their decision. We share some tips for starting the conversation. https://t.co/dxJXhTCq2X #WordsSaveLives pic.twitter.com/beTV17nK4D
— NHS Organ Donation💗 (@NHSOrganDonor) September 5, 2018
If you are an organ donor already, that’s fantastic! It’s important to also share your wishes with your family so they know and understand that donation is something you understand and want to do.
Make your goal during organ donation week to register and then share your wishes with your nearest and dearest – why not get them involved too?