Organ Donation Awareness Week

22/08/2016

The Trust is supporting National Organ Donation Week, starting from 5 September – 11 September 2016. The theme this year is “Turn an End into a Beginning.” The campaign will be focusing on encouraging individuals to sign the Organ Donor Register and to discuss their decision about organ donation with those closest to them.

For many of us, the question of needing or donating an organ isn’t really something we’ve thought about. A recent survey, showed that the majority of people living in Northern Ireland would accept an organ if they needed one. Yet it might surprise you to know that only 36% of us have signed the Organ Donor Register.

Around 200 people in Northern Ireland are currently on the transplant waiting list but with a real shortage of organs more donors are desperately needed in the South Eastern Trust area. Sadly every year around 15 people in Northern Ireland die waiting for an Organ Transplant.

Only 55% of families agree to donation going ahead if they are unaware of their loved one’s wishes, so it is very important to share your decision with your loved ones, to make the situation less stressful for them and give them the confidence to fulfill your wish of being an organ donor.

Dr John McAteer, Clinical Lead for Organ Donation says “All health professionals have a duty of care and will always strive to save a life. However, if a patient dies despite their best effort, it may become possible to consider organ donation. If you are one of the few people who are suitable for organ donation then you can transform and save up to nine lives.”

Heather Savage, Specialist Nurse for Organ Donation, further adds “Organs will only be used if that is your wish so please have that important conversation about your wishes with your family today. You can indicate your wishes in a number of ways such as telling a relative or close friend, by carrying an organ donor card or recording your wishes on the NHS Organ Donor Register. Putting your name on the NHS Organ Donor Register makes it easier for the NHS to establish your wishes and for those closest to you in life to follow them so you can “Turn an End into a Beginning”.

The Trust has created a video to raise awareness of the importance of organ donation and this can be viewed by clicking here.

To sign on the NHS Organ Donor Register visit www.organdonationni.info.

If you would like further information on Organ Donation please contact Heather Savage, Specialist Nurse for Organ Donation on (028) 9041 1470 or email: heather.savage@setrust.hscni.net