01.09.2017

Newcastle’s transplant experts support appeal for families to have a lifesaving talk during Organ Donation Week

Transplant experts at the Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust are proudly supporting Organ Donation Week and in particular its appeal for everyone to talk about organ donation.

During the last 12 months, over 200 people in the North East have received lifesaving or life changing transplants at the Freeman Hospital’s Institute of Transplantation – the only specialist centre of its kind offering all types of organ transplantation under one roof.

Yet hundreds of transplants are being missed around the country every year because families don’t know what their relative wanted.

During Organ Donation Week (September 4 to 10), NHS Blood and Transplant, hospitals, charities and supporters of organ donation are encouraging people across the UK to talk about organ donation with their relatives and friends.

This way, if you are ever able to be an organ donor your family won’t be left with making a difficult decision without knowing what you wanted.
NHS Blood and Transplant surveys show more than 80% of people support organ donation but only around 49% of people have ever talked about it. Research shows that women are 30% more likely to start a conversation about organ donation than men.

Mr Asif Hasan, director of heart and lung transplantation at Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital says: “Nearly 20% of patients – adults and children - die whilst waiting for an organ to become available.  We are extremely grateful to all relatives and donor families as the donation of an organ is vital to saving hundreds of lives. Yet we still need to do more.”

He adds: “As such, we’re proud to support this lifesaving appeal and it’s really easy for everyone to take part – just have a chat.

“That chat might be the next time you sit down for a meal, when you are shopping or working, or when you are just driving in the car. If you want to be a donor, your family’s support is still needed for donation to go ahead, even if you are on the NHS Organ Donor Register.”

Families who agree to donate say it helps with their grief and that they feel an enormous sense of pride at knowing their relative gave others the chance of a new beginning.
Anthony Clarkson, Assistant Director of Organ Donation and Transplantation at NHS Blood and Transplant, said: “We are really grateful for the Newcastle Hospitals’ support because hundreds of lives are being lost every year.

“This Organ Donation Week, tell your family you want to save lives.  A few words now can make an extraordinary difference. It will also make things much easier for your family to make the right decision.

“If you are unsure about donation, please ask yourselves as a family; what would you do if one of you needed a transplant?  Would you accept a life-saving organ? If you’d take an organ, shouldn’t you be prepared to donate?”

There is a particular need for more black and Asian people to talk about donation. Patients from these communities make up 29% of the national transplant waiting list but they are less likely to agree to donate. Organs from people from the same ethnic background are more likely to be a close match and give the best chance of a positive outcome.


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-  For additional information contact Lynn Watson, Communications Officer, the Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust on 0191 223 1543
-  Alternatively call the NHSBT Press Office on 01923 367 600 or email pressoffice@nhsbt.nhs.uk

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