Health & Safety

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Organ Donation Saves Lives

16 August 2016

The CWU Health, Safety & Environment Department is once again promoting organ and blood donation to raise awareness of the need for more new donors to save lives and to get people to talk about it and to sign on to the NHS Organ Donor Register.

organ donation in operation theatre

NHS Organ Donor Register

There are some simple messages:

  • Three people die every day in the UK in need of a transplant.
  • You can help save lives after your death - one organ donor can save and transform up to nine lives.
  • Tell your loved ones you want to be an organ donor so they know you have made a decision to donate if and when you can.
  • Anyone can register. There are no barriers to joining the ODR.
  • Even if you carry a donor card you should sign onto the NHS Organ Donor Register to make a lasting record of your wishes.

To register or find out more call the Organ Donor Line (See below contact details).

1,000On average one thousand people each year in the UK, that’s 3 a day – will die because there are not enough organs available!
30%Less than 30% of us have joined the Organ Donor Register! – why not sign-up TODAY?
90%Over 90% of families will agree to Organ Donation if a loved one is registered AND has discussed their wishes. This drops to 40% if donation wishes are not known!
96%Over 96% of us would take an Organ if we needed one – so why not help ensure those organs are available by signing the Organ Donor Register?

Registration is Easy

Over 7,000 Waitng for Transplants

Currently there are over 7,000 people on the UK national transplant waiting list and last year, around 1,500 people died whilst on the waiting list for a transplant.

By agreeing to give your internal organs up for donation (when you no longer need them), you can save people’s lives.

NHS Blood & Transplant (NHSBT)

NHSBT is a special health authority within the NHS and is the organ donation organisation for the UK with responsibility for matching and allocating donated organs. NHSBT promote organ donation and also maintain the NHS Organ Donor Register, a secure database that records the details of people who have registered their wishes to be an organ and/or tissue donor after their death. Their remit also includes the provision of a safe, sufficient supply of blood and plasma to the NHS.

Why Give Blood

Giving blood saves lives. The blood you give is a lifeline in an emergency and for people who need long-term treatments. Many people would not be alive today if donors had not generously given their blood. 6,000 blood donations are needed every day to treat patients in need across England. Which is why there’s always a need for people to give blood. Each year approximately 200,000 new donors are needed, as some donors can no longer give blood. Most people between the ages of 17-65 are able to give blood. Around half the current donors are over 45. That's why more young people are needed (over the age of 17) to start giving blood, so there is enough blood in the future. Blood donations from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities are particularly needed.

Types of Donation

There are three different ways to donate.

  • Brain stem death - This is where a person no longer has activity in their brain stem due to a severe brain injury. They have permanently lost the potential for consciousness and the capacity to breathe. This may happen even when a ventilator is keeping the person's heart beating and oxygen is circulated through their blood.
  • Circulatory death - Is the irreversible loss of function of the heart and lungs after a cardiac arrest from which the patient cannot or should not be resuscitated. It can also be the planned withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment from a patient within the Intensive Care Unit or the Emergency Department.
  • Living donation - Whilst you are still alive you can choose to donate a kidney, a small section of your liver, discarded bone from a hip or knee replacement and also your amniotic membrane (placenta).

Consent

The NHS will only use organs and tissue from a donor with their consent or with their family’s consent after they die.

People can give consent by joining the NHS Organ Donor Register, or telling a relative or close friend about your decision to donate. Everyone can join the NHS Organ Donor Register regardless of age, as long as they are legally capable of making the decision, and live in the UK.

Medical conditions

Having a medical condition does not always prevent you from becoming an organ or tissue donor. At death, a qualified doctor responsible for your care will decide whether some or all organs or tissue are suitable for transplant. But, there are a few conditions that will exclude someone from donating organs and tissue.

You cannot become an organ donor if you have:

  • HIV, (in some circumstances people with HIV can donate to another person who already has HIV)
  • Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD)
  • Cancer that has spread in the last 12 months.

How to become a donor

You can choose which organs you would want to donate by ticking the specific box on the NHS Organ Donor Register, or by letting your family and friends know what you want to donate. Join the NHS Organ Donor Register www.organdonation.nhs.uk/register-to-donate/.

Organ donation and ethnicity

More donors from Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) groups are needed because some blood and Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) types are more common among some ethnic groups. Some ethnic groups are more likely to develop medical conditions that need blood, organs or tissue donations. People needing bone marrow are more likely to find a match with someone with a similar ethnic background. Patients from Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities are more likely to need an organ transplant than the rest of the population as they are more susceptible to illnesses such as diabetes and hypertension, which may result in organ failure and the need for a transplant. On average, patients from the Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities will wait a year longer for a kidney transplant than a white patient, due to the lack of suitable organs. Blood and tissue types need to match for a successful transplant and organs from people from the same ethnic background are more likely to be a close match.