This Organ Donation Week (2 – 8 September 2019) the Western Health and Social Care Trust (Western Trust) is focussed on encouraging people to have a conversation with those closest to them about organ donation.
If you want to be an organ donor, pass on the message to you family. Many people don’t realise that their family’s support is needed for organ donation to go ahead.
Almost 48% of the adult population in the local Western Trust council areas are registered potential donors. However, there is a real shortage of organ donations with approximately 140 people in Northern Ireland and approximately 6,000 people in the United Kingdom waiting on life-saving transplants. Unfortunately every year around 14 people in Northern Ireland die waiting for an organ transplant.
Dr Declan Grace, Lead Clinician for Organ Donation at the Western Trust said: “Organ donation really is the gift of life and the Western Trust is encouraging everyone to join the Organ Donor register and tell their loved ones that they wish to be a donor so that they are aware of their wishes.
“Deciding to become an organ donor is entirely your decision but it does affect your family. After your death, your next of kin will be consulted. When families or friends know your wishes it makes the situation less stressful for them and the decision to donate less difficult and can give them the confidence to fulfil your wish to be an organ donor.
“The more people pledge to donate their organs and tissues after their death, the more people stand to benefit. In 2018/19 there were eight organ donors in the Western Trust area, resulting in 20 patients receiving a life-saving or life-changing transplant.”
Dr Grace continued: “The Western Trust continues to promote organ donation in partnership with local councils, colleges and universities. While the number of people who have registered as potential donors is very encouraging, there is still a lot of work to do to ensure as many people as possible join the Organ Donor Register and tell their loved ones about their wishes.
“We can save many lives and together we shall do so.”