PEOPLE in the Northern Trust are being urged to get involved in this year’s National Transplant Week, making sure their loved ones know their organ donation wishes.
As part of the annual awareness week (July 8-14) the Organ Donation Specialist Nurses in the Northern Trust will be holding awareness stands in Causeway Hospital on Monday, Antrim Hospital on Wednesday and the Fairhill Centre, Ballymena on Thursday.
The theme is Pass It On, focusing on encouraging people to not just sign up to the NHS Organ Donor Register but to crucially tell their loved ones about their wishes.
Joanne Byrne, Organ Donation Specialist Nurse for the Antrim area, said: “We’ve seen a great increase in recent years in the number of people who wish to donate but with approximately 275 people in Northern Ireland needing a life-saving transplant, more needs to be done. National Transplant Week is a good opportunity to raise awareness of the organ donation, it is the greatest gift you can ever give. We would urge people to think about organ donation and if you wish to donate after you die register your wishes on the UK organ donation register and tell your loved ones this Transplant Week.”
While over 90% of families agree to donation if a loved one is registered AND has discussed their wishes, this drops to only 40% when donation wishes aren’t known.
Having a conversation about organ donation is vital as around 15 people a year in Northern Ireland die because of a shortage of organs for transplant.
As well as having the donation conversation, signing up to the NHS Organ Donor Register remains important. Joining is quick and easy - to register call 0300 123 2323, text DONATE to 62323 or visit www.transplantweek.co.uk.
For more information about National Transplant Week and organ donation visit www.transplantweek.co.uk.
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