Brexit, the weather and the Olympics are all familiar conversation topics, but how many of us take time out of our day to talk about organ donation?
Talking about donation isn’t always easy, which is why the theme for organ donation week is conversation. The campaign aims to raise awareness of the Organ Donor Register and to get people talking about it.
Transplants save or greatly enhance the lives of people who would otherwise die waiting for an organ. In order for transplants to occur, the NHS ultimately relies on donors and their families agreeing to pass on their organs or tissues after death.
In principle, 90% of the UK is in favour of organ donation but the donation rate in the West Midlands and the UK remains poor compared to other countries like the USA and Spain. Currently there are around 6,000 people who need a transplant but sadly, an average of three people die every day across the UK due to a shortage of donations.
People from Black, Asian and some ethnic minority communities are more likely to develop health conditions that can lead to kidney failure, and on average wait a year longer for a kidney transplant compared to white patients.
If you die without registering to donate your organs, your next of kin can be asked to make the decision for you. If they are not sure what your wishes are, this could be a barrier to donation taking place. This is why a key element of the organ donation campaign is informing people not just to join the register, but to tell their family about their decision. It’s a conversation that could help save lives.
For more information and advice about organ donation, visit our information stands during organ donation week between 5-9th September at:
- Heartlands Hospital, Bordesley Green East, B9 5SS – at the main entrance at the top of the escalator
- Good Hope Hospital, Rectory Rd, Sutton Coldfield B75 7RR – by X-ray