Transplants are one of the most miraculous achievements of modern medicine. But they depend entirely on the generosity of donors and their families to make this life-saving gift to others.
One donor can give life to several people and restore the sight of two more.
There is a critical shortage of organs and the gap between the number of organs donated and the number of people waiting for a transplant is increasing all the time. Right now, more than 8,000 people in the UK need an organ transplant and every day three people die while waiting for a suitable donor organ.
The need for donors has never been greater.
What is organ donation?
Organ donation is the gift of an organ to help someone else who needs a transplant. Hundreds of people’s lives are saved each year by the generosity of organ donors.
Organs that can be donated after death include the heart, lungs, kidneys, liver, pancreas and small bowel.
Tissue such as skin, bone, heart valves and corneas can also be used to help others.
- You are more likely to need a transplant than become a donor.
- Each year in the UK nearly 3,500 organs are transplanted and over 2,700 sight-saving cornea transplants are carried out.
- The removal of organs is carried out with the same care and respect as any other operation.
- Many relatives say that they have found some comfort in knowing that the loss of their loved one has given someone else the chance to live.
- More than 16.5 million people in the UK have already signed up to save lives by joining the NHS Organ Donor Register.
Leave someone a future
To decide whether or not you wish to give life to someone else after you have died is something very personal and it is important that everyone makes their own decision. Discuss your decision with those closest to you so they know your wishes should the time ever come.
Even if you already carry a donor card you should join the NHS Organ Donor Register to ensure your wishes are recorded. By joining the register you are giving your agreement to your organs and tissue being used for transplantation to save or enhance the lives of others after your death.
Adding your name to the register will only take a few minutes of your time but it could save someone else’s life.
How to join the register
Telephone: 0300 123 23 23