This week is Organ Donation Week, and this year’s campaign focuses on the importance of talking about organ donation with your family. It features a film about two little brothers, Louie and Freddie, who have experienced the extraordinary impact that organ donation can bring.
The campaign aims to:
- promote public awareness about organ donation and transplant
- encourage people to join the NHS Organ Donor Register
- encourage people to share their donation decision with their family and friends
In the UK
- Around 6,500 people across the UK are waiting for an organ transplant
- Only around 5,000 people each year die in circumstances where they can donate their organs
- Three people a day die in need of a transplant due to a shortage of people being willing to donate organs
About the NHS Organ Donor Register
The NHS Organ Donor Register is a legal and confidential way to record your organ donation decision.
If you die in circumstances where you could be a donor, authorised NHS Blood and Transplant staff can see if you wanted to be a donor or not and what organs/tissue you wanted to donate.
This information helps us when we are talking to your family.
If we can share with them that you had registered a decision to donate they are more likely to support your decision.
Why promote conversations
Many people believe that all you need to do to show you want to be a donor is to join the NHS Organ Donor Register or carry a donor card.
However, if you die in circumstances where you could become an organ donor your family would be approached by specialist nurses and asked to support your decision to donate.
If you die without registering to donate your organs, we would need to ask your next of kin to make the decision for you.
It can be a big burden for families to make such an important decision at such a difficult time.
Less than half of families approached about donation agree to donate a relative’s organs if they are unaware of their relative’s decision to be a donor.
When a family says no to donation, someone waiting for a transplant may miss out on their only opportunity for a transplant which could save their life.
Personal stories make a difference
We know that personal stories about organ donation or transplantation are really powerful. Seeing them on the TV, in newspapers or online can encourage others to join the NHS Organ Donor Register or trigger people to talk about organ donation.
For those interested, spread the word
There are lots of different ways to get involved.
Take a look at the publicity guide for ideas about how to help support our campaign.
Use the digital graphics, images and assets that you can download from our ‘Promoting Donation Hub‘.
Go to the campaign catalogue to order free posters, leaflets and promotional items. If you need to place a larger order than the system allows or have any questions about organ donation promotional items, please contact email@example.com
Follow the organ transplant social media channels and share our posts.
Whenever you are promoting organ donation, please direct people to organdonation.nhs.uk to register as a donor and to find out more about organ donation.