This week is Organ Donation Week.  How much do YOU know about organ donation?  If you’re thinking about carrying an Organ Donation Card, here’s all you need to know.

The week of September 3rd to 9th is Organ Donation Week.  This high-profile NHS initiative has a rich history of innovation and success and has saved literally thousands of lives that would otherwise have ended early, or have been compromised.   It really is the gift of life.

Last year’s campaign in 2018 was aimed at encouraging organ donation card carriers to share this decision with their loved ones.  Many people forget to do this or aren’t aware that they need to do so.  Families are asked to support organ donation and in stressful times of grief could refuse, so this awareness campaign made quite an impact.

This year’s campaign promises to be equally impactful, so look out on social media for developments!

Are YOU a little bit squeamish about organ donation?  Well, it’s understandable.  When someone we love dies, we like to them of them as “intact” beings; removing an organ (or two) may seem like desecration.  However, think of it this way: you could offer years and years or good health to another human being.  Literally, YOU or your loved one could be responsible for a lifetime of happiness to someone whose life could be slipping away month by month, week by week.

It’s quite something to think about.

Thinking of carrying The Card? That little pink piece of cardboard that could save so many lives?  Not sure?  Well, here’s the lowdown from Carers’ Support to help you decide.

Organ Donation in a Nutshell

Simply defined, you give away a part of your body to someone who needs it – when sadly, you (or a relative or friend) no longer do.

It’s an act of generosity unlike no other.

Regardless of age, anyone can agree to donate their organs and tissue when they die.  For example, you may not be aware that as a parent or guardian, you can register your children.  It goes without saying that children die, and their smaller-sized organs could benefit other younger people.

To be on the safe side, it’s worth checking about your eligibility as a donor if you currently suffer from cancer or if you have an illness likely to affect the organ you wish to donate.  You can register online https://www.organdonation.nhs.uk/register-your-decision/ , it’ super quick.  As mentioned, your next of kin will be encouraged to agree to the donation on your demise.

Be Aware

There’s news.  In 2020, organ donation laws are changing.  In England and Scotland, an opt-out system will be introduced.  You will need to decide NOT to be an organ donor should you so choose.

In Wales, this opt-out process already exists, which has seen the consent rate soar to 77%.

Good News.  Sad News

In 2018, did you know that in the UK 1,600 people donated their organs after death?  The result?  An incredible 3,941 human souls were given hope of a new or improved life. Sadly, however, 400 people died waiting for that phone call, whilst another 777 had to be taken off the register due to declining health.

We think that being on the organ donation register must be very stressful and if you know someone in this situation, we’d like to send you our very best wishes.

What Can You Donate?

Your heart, kidneys, lungs, corneas, tissues, bones – the list is quite long.  You can even make a living donation! Read more about this here… https://www.organdonation.nhs.uk/become-a-living-donor/

There are super-strict rules governing the removal of organs.  Bear in mind that doctors will only access the Organ Donor Register if and only if death is inevitable, or in the case of a sudden death.  All healthcare professionals have the strongest possible duty of care to save a life, so do be re-assured that no one assumes, presumes or anticipates the removal of organs before time.

Let’s Get Explicit

When organs are removed, the donor is treated with the utmost care, with respect given to how the body looks after death.  If you’re mindful of an open-casket funeral or loved ones wishing to pay their respects, let us reassure you that organ and tissue donation will not affect the appearance of the deceased.  Sorry, we thought we’d just mention that.

And finally,…

There are about 6,000 people in the UK on the transplant waiting list.  There still aren’t enough organ donors.  Organ Donor Awareness Week. 2019 aims to change all that.

Don’t be a part of the majority who support it, but who never get around to registering a decision to donate.

Here you go:

https://www.organdonation.nhs.uk/register-your-decision/