80% Increase In NI Organ Donors

Northern Ireland has seen an increase of 81.8% in deceased organ donors over the last five years.

The news comes as the NHS confirms it has achieved its target of a 50% increase for the whole of the UK, as laid out in the Organ Donation Taskforce in 2008.

3,112 transplants from deceased donors in the UK were carried out between 1 April 2012 and 31 March 2013.

69 people living in Northern Ireland benefitted from a deceased donor transplant in 2012/13.

In 2007/8 there were 22 donors in Northern Ireland while in 2012/13 there were 40. There had been almost no increase across the UK in the number of deceased organ donors over the previous decade.

Health Minister Edwin Poots welcomed the news. He said: "The significant increase in deceased organ donors demonstrates the instinctive giving nature of the people of the province and the efforts of those who have worked together across the health service and voluntary organisations to deliver this noteworthy achievement. However, we must never be complacent and I would urge everyone to consider joining the organ donation register."

Sally Johnson, NHS Blood and Transplant's Director of Organ Donation and Transplantation, commented: "I would like to congratulate Northern Ireland on achieving an 81.8% increase in deceased organ donation over the last five years. This is the result of publicity campaigns and commitment throughout hospitals to identify and support potential donor families and the altruism of the people of Northern Ireland.

"Despite this achievement, we still have a long way to go across the UK as three people die every day in need of an organ transplant and if more families consented to donation, more lives would be saved. We want everyone - individuals and families, to be proud to say yes to organ donation, when asked. For this to happen, everybody in Northern Ireland who wants to donate their organs should have a conversation with their loved ones about their wishes."

Over 19.5m people in the UK are on the NHS Organ Donor Register. Anyone can register, and age is no barrier.

One donor can save or transform up to 9 lives and many more can be helped through the donation of tissues.

There are currently around 7,300 people in the UK waiting for an organ transplant and 190 waiting for an organ transplant in Northern Ireland.

The register can be joined by signing up at www.organdonation.nhs.uk


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