Call for Isle families to discuss organ donation as figures reveal deaths due to shortage

Sally Johnson, director of organ donation and transplantation
Sally Johnson, director of organ donation and transplantation

Figures published this week reveal 44 Lincolnshire residents have died waiting for a transplant in the past five years and 148 people in the county are currently waiting for a transplant.

Across the UK in 2014/15, the number of people donating organs fell for the first time in 11 years.

NHS Blood and Transplant is highlighting the figures as it publishes the annual Transplant Activity Report, which details organ donation and transplantation across the UK. On average, three people in the UK die each day in need of an organ transplant.

Currently, four out of ten families don’t give permission to donate when approached. The latest figures show that last year in Lincolnshire, 49 people’s lives were saved or improved thanks to deceased donation. More lives would be saved if more families agreed to donate their loved one’s organs after death.

In Lincolnshire, 17 people also benefitted from a living donor transplant, where donors gave a kidney or part of their liver.

NHS Blood and Transplant is asking people in Lincolnshire to join the Organ Donor Register and then tell their family and friends about their decision. Families are much more likely to agree to donation if they know it is what their loved one wanted.

Sally Johnson, NHS Blood and Transplant’s Director of Organ Donation and Transplantation, said: “We are truly grateful to the deceased donors who enabled 49 people in Lincolnshire to receive an organ transplant last year. Their donations have saved and improved lives. Sadly, 44 people from Lincolnshire have died while waiting on the transplant waiting list in the past five years.

“We cannot hope to save more lives unless there is a revolution in attitudes towards organ donation. We need everyone talk about organ donation with their families and agree to donate if ever they are asked.

“We understand that families are expected to consider donation in their darkest hour. So we would remind everyone - tell those closest to you now if you want to donate your organs and record that decision by joining the 318,457 people from Lincolnshire who are already on the NHS Organ Donor Register. Should the time come, your family will know you want to donate your organs to help to save others.”

To join the NHS Organ Donor Register visit www.organdonation.nhs.uk or call 0300 123 2323.