06/10/2004

Local people urged to join Organ Donor Register

People from across Northern Ireland are being asked to respond to a national challenge to add one million more ‘lifesavers’ to the NHS Organ Donor Register.

The call comes at the start of an advertising campaign to mark the register’s 10th anniversary with the message ‘Life’s Amazing, Pass It On’.

Chief Medical Officer, Dr Etta Campbell unveiled the first of the new posters for the campaign, which will be rolled out across the country.

“There is an urgent need for more donors both in Northern Ireland and across the UK,” Dr Campbell said. “In Northern Ireland alone there are 262 people on the waiting list for a transplant that could help save or improve their life.

“Last year 212 people from Northern Ireland were among almost 3,000 patients across the UK given a new lease of life through an organ transplant, due to the generosity of donors and their families.”

Eleanor Donaghy, NHS Transplant Co-ordinator based at Belfast City Hospital, said: “In this 10th anniversary year we want to encourage an extra one million people to think about organ donation, talk about it and sign up. We know that about nine out of ten people support organ donation in principle but that only two out of ten have got around to recording their wishes on the Register.

“We’d also appeal to anyone just carrying a donor card to take this opportunity to sign up too – cards can easily get lost which means your good intentions may not be put into practice. The more people who join the register, the more people stand to benefit in the future.”

Anyone interested in joining the NHS Organ Donor Register can do so by telephoning the Organ Donor Line on 0845 60 60 400 or by visiting transplantni.com

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