Have you considered organ donation?


This week, NHS Blood and Transplant is asking people to consider adding their names to the NHS Organ Donor Register to help save lives.

Organ donation is reliant on people giving their consent for their organs to be used to save the life of another. As well as signing the Organ Donor Register, you can also tell a close friend or family member you wish to donate after you die.


Can anyone donate?


Anybody can be an organ donor providing they live in the UK and are legally capable of making the decision.

In terms of health, the only medical conditions that prevent you from being an organ donor are HIV, any type of cancer that has spread within the last twelve months and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), a rare and fatal brain condition.


Are there different types of donation?


Most organs can only be donated at death, at which point a doctor will decide if your organs or tissues are suitable. There are two different types of death that can result in organ donation. These are brain stem death, which can happen after a severe brain injury where there is no chance of a person regaining consciousness or being able to breathe on their own. Usually they are kept alive on a ventilator, which keeps their heart beating and oxygen circulating through their blood. The other type is circulatory death, which happens as the result of a cardiac arrest, resulting in permanent heart or lung failure. Some living donations can also take place too and apply to a kidney, a small section of the liver, discarded bone from a hip or knee replacement and the placenta.


Talking About It


“Research has recently shown that 4.1million people who want to donate their organs say they haven’t talked to a loved one about their decision.”



This National Transplant Week, why not make it a priority to discuss this issue with your nearest and dearest to make sure they know what you want when you die?


To help you along and encourage everyone to have the conversation, NHS Blood and Transplant is asking everyone to team up and make a heart shape with those you have the conversation with. Why not take a selfie and post to social media sites using #sayidonate. It is hoped that sharing your photos on social media will help inspire others to sit down and have a chat too.



Looking for some other ways to get involved?

Have a go at the NHS Blood and Transplant quiz to assess your family’s behaviour and how likely you all are to sit down and have the conversation. Of course, it’s only a bit of fun, but may help you think about some of the things you could do a bit differently this week to help find the time to discuss this important topic.



If you have already made up your mind to become an organ donor and would like to let others know in the hope your decision will inspire others to do the same, you can download the #sayidonate twibbon – a miniature banner which you can attach to your Facebook or Twitter profile picture.


More information about organ donation can be found on the NHS Blood and Transplant website.