Many people don’t realise they need their family’s support is needed for organ donation to go ahead, even if they have signed up to the register, local health professionals have said.
Dr Declan Grace, Western Trust Lead Clinician for Organ Donation, has revealed that in the year to the end of 2018, there were seven organ donors in the Western Trust area, which resulted in 20 patients getting a transplant.
Approximately 140 people in Northern Ireland are currently waiting on life-saving transplants. Unfortunately, every year around 14 people here die waiting for a transplant, highlighting the real shortage of organ donations.
Speaking during organ donation week, Dr Declan Grace, Lead Clinician for Organ Donation at the Western Trust, said: “Organ donation transforms and saves lives and the Western Trust is encouraging everyone to join the Organ Donor Register and tell their loved ones that they wish to be a donor, so that they are aware of their wishes.
“Deciding to become an organ donor is entirely your decision but it does affect your family. After your death, your next of kin will be consulted on whether your organs can be donated, even if you carry a donor card, and any decision they make will be respected. When families or friends know the wishes of their loved ones it makes the situation less stressful and can give them the confidence to fulfil your wish to be an organ donor.
“No one wants to think or talk about dying but set in the context of helping one or more than one person after death, the conversation becomes easier.”