With almost 6,500 people on the organ transplant list and just 170 organ donations (a record number resulting in over 400 life-saving operations last year) the current English ‘opt-in’ organ donation register process is under constant review and challenge. As we reported earlier this year, a consultation is underway to consider whether this can (and should) be changed to an ‘opt-out’ system, such as is already in place in Spain and Wales.
Here are some key facts about organ donation:
- 1 donor can save eight lives with organs and 50 lives with tissue donation
- Organs that can be donated are: heart, lungs, liver, kidney, pancreas, intestines
- Tissues that can be donated are: corneas, bone/tendon, vein/artery, heart valves, skin
- It’s more likely that you will need an organ donation than that you will be able to give one. This is because it usually requires you to have died in hospital. In most cases this is when someone is brain-dead following a cerebral haemorrhage or traffic accident. This means that they are legally dead, but artificial respiration can keep the organs supplied with oxygen-rich blood, allowing them to remain suitable for transplanting
- This is why it’s so important that there are more people on the organ donation register
Here at Medical Accident Group we support families not only with legal support relating to negligent treatment following organ transplant, but also concerning organ donation. You can contact us today to discuss this.
Our lawyers know the importance of organ donation, and of being on the organ donation list. Recently, we saw this first-hand through the experiences of one of our team, Sally Green. Sally’s best friend, Abi, lost her partner, on 28th September, following a short illness where he never woke from sedation. It was only at this point that his family discovered that he had registered to donate his organs… not once but twice. His corneas have been donated to give someone else the gift of sight. You can read more about Dani’s story here.
NHS Organ Donation offers the following advice, if you are thinking about becoming an organ donor:
Many people don’t realise that their family’s support is needed for organ donation to go ahead. So, take time to talk to your family about organ donation. Take time to discuss your decision with them and ask them if they want to be donors too. Don’t leave it too late to talk about organ donation. If you need some inspiration for starting the conversation, read our tips for having that talk about organ donation.
And don’t be swayed by misinformation… There are a lot of myths about organ donation. Don’t be put off by incorrect information. Equip yourself with all the facts: watch our myth-busting video and read the facts.
Dani’s partner, Abi, said, following his death and cornea donation:
“I am so unbelievably proud of Dani that he’d registered to be a donor not once, but twice! I’ve now registered myself too (something I didn’t even think about before). Please consider it! Dani has brought so much good in to this world, and the fact that he is going to be able to help someone so much even after he’s left this life is just wonderful.”