St George’s supports appeal for families to have a lifesaving talk during Organ Donation Week
This week is Organ Donation Week (4-10 September) and we will be raising awareness at St George’s with a number of events and encouraging conversations about organ donation.
In 2016/17, a total of 76 lives were saved thanks to 29 organ donors and their families consenting to organ donation at St George’s – and even more lives were transformed from tissue and eye donations. However hundreds of transplants are being missed around the country every year because families don’t know what their relative wanted.
Talking about organ donation with relatives and friends means that if you are ever able to be an organ donor your family won’t be left with making a difficult decision without knowing what you wanted.
Nationally, over 1,400 people donated after they died which saved or transformed the lives of over 3,500 people last year.
However, there are around 6,500 people waiting for an organ transplant across the UK and on average three people die every day who are in need of an organ transplant because there are not enough donors.
This week, we’ll be hosting awareness stands in Grosvenor and Hunter Wing entrances at St George’s on Wednesday (6 September) and Friday (8 September) to encourage staff, patients, visitors and students to think about having the conversation about organ donation with their friends and families.
Jo Cox, Specialist Organ Donation Nurse at St George’s, said: “We know that many families take comfort in knowing that some good came from their loss and feel proud that their loved one went on to help others when they died.
“One person could save or transform up to nine people’s lives – and even more by donating tissue as well as organs. It only takes two minutes to register, so I would urge everyone to consider it.”
At St George’s, we celebrate the lives of those who have donated organs or tissues at our Annual Tree of Life event.
Anthony Clarkson, Assistant Director of Organ Donation and Transplantation at NHS Blood and Transplant, said: “We are really grateful for St George’s support because hundreds of lives are being lost every year.
“This Organ Donation Week, tell your family you want to save lives. A few words now can make an extraordinary difference.
“If you are unsure about donation, please ask yourselves as a family; what would you do if one of you needed a transplant? Would you accept a life-saving organ? If you’d take an organ, shouldn’t you be prepared to donate?”
There is a particular need for more black and Asian people to talk about donation. Patients from these communities make up 29% of the national transplant waiting list but they are less likely to agree to donate. Organs from people from the same ethnic background are more likely to be a close match and give the best chance of a positive outcome.
If you are interested in joining the 23 million people who have signed up to become an organ donor, or simply want to find out more, please visit the organ donation website here.
You can also support organ donation by joining the conversation on social media using the following hashtags: #OrganDonation #YesIDonate and #TimeToSign
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