NHS makes or­gan do­na­tion plea after trans­plant deaths

Seventy-six peo­ple died in Bucks over 10 years wait­ing for op­er­a­tion

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS -

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NHS Blood and Trans­plant re­vealed the num­ber of deaths to mark Or­gan Do­na­tion Week (September 4 to 10) and is now urg­ing peo­ple to tell their fam­i­lies they want to be­come donors.

Hun­dreds of life-sav­ing trans­plants are be­ing missed every year be­cause fam­i­lies do not know if their rel­a­tives wanted to do­nate or­gans.

Left to make the de­ci­sion for some­one they love, fam­i­lies of­ten de­cide it is safer to say no.

The re­luc­tance to talk about the is­sue is con­tribut­ing to a deadly short­age of or­gans.

In Buck­ing­hamshire, there are cur­rently 82 peo­ple wait­ing for a trans­plant.

They will only re­ceive that life-chang­ing call if peo­ple make sure their fam­i­lies know they want to be a donor.

The fig­ures in­clude 29 peo­ple from Mil­ton Keynes who have died wait­ing for a trans­plant in the past decade and 27 peo­ple who are on the trans­plant wait­ing list.

An­thony Clark­son, as­sis­tant direc­tor of or­gan do­na­tion and trans­plan­ta­tion for NHS Blood and Trans­plant, said: “It’s a tragedy that peo­ple are dy­ing un­nec­es­sar­ily every year in Buck­ing­hamshire wait­ing for trans­plants.

“We know that if every­one who sup­ported do­na­tion talked about it and agreed to do­nate, most of those lives would be saved.

“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 want to save lives, don’t leave it too late to talk to your fam­ily. In Buck­ing­hamshire there are more than 314,000 peo­ple on the NHS Or­gan Donor Reg­is­ter. How­ever, if you want to be a donor, your fam­ily’s sup­port is still needed for do­na­tion to go ahead.

“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?”

In Buck­ing­hamshire there is a par­tic­u­lar need for more black and Asian peo­ple to talk about do­na­tion.

There are 33 black or Asian peo­ple from Buck­ing­hamshire cur­rently wait­ing for a trans­plant.

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.

NHS Blood and Trans­plant sur­veys show more than 80% of peo­ple sup­port or­gan do­na­tion but only around 49% of peo­ple have ever talked about it.

Re­search shows that women are 30% more likely to start a con­ver­sa­tion about or­gan do­na­tion than men.

Fam­i­lies who agree to do­nate say it helps with their grief and that they feel enor­mous sense of pride at know­ing their rel­a­tive gave oth­ers the chance of a new be­gin­ning. NHS Blood and Trans­plant wants every­one in Buck­ing­hamshire to be able to save lives through or­gan do­na­tion and not be pre­vented from do­ing so be­cause they have not told a rel­a­tive their de­ci­sion.

To sup­port Or­gan Do­na­tion Week visit www.nhsbt.nhs.uk/ get-in­volved/pro­mot­ing­do­na­tion-hub/down­load­dig­i­tal-ma­te­ri­als/ or­gan-do­na­tion-week/.

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