HAMPSHIRE Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is proudly supporting Organ Donation Week and an appeal for everyone in the community to talk about organ donation.
Over the last year, 152 people in Hampshire have received lifesaving or life changing transplants. However hundreds of transplants are being missed around the country every year because families don’t know what their relative wanted.
During Organ Donation Week, which runs from 4 September until 10 September, NHS Blood and Transplant, hospitals, charities and supporters of organ donation are encouraging people across the UK to talk about organ donation with their relatives and friends. By doing this, 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.
NHS Blood and Transplant surveys show more than 80 per cent of people support organ donation but only around 49 per cent of people have ever talked about it. Research also shows that women are 30 per cent more likely to start a conversation about organ donation than men.
Rachel Clare, specialist nurse for organ donation at Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said “We are proud to support this lifesaving appeal and it’s really easy for everyone to take part. Just have a chat.
“That chat might be the next time you sit down for a meal, when you are shopping or working, or when you are just driving in the car. If you want to be a donor, your family’s support is still needed for donation to go ahead, even if you are on the NHS Organ Donor Register.”
Families who agree to donate say it helps with their grief and that they feel an enormous sense of pride at knowing their relative gave others the chance of a new beginning.
Anthony Clarkson, Assistant Director of Organ Donation and Transplantation at NHS Blood and Transplant, said: “We are really grateful for Hampshire Hospitals’ 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. It will also make things much easier for your family to make the right decision.
“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 per cent 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.