Local organ donations are on the up but more still needed

Health bosses have welcomed a significant increase in the number of local organ donations which is giving '˜the gift of life' to more people in need of a transplant.

Clinical Lead for Organ Donation Dr Carole Pilkington (left) with Specialist Nurse for Organ Donation, Deborah Vernon
Clinical Lead for Organ Donation Dr Carole Pilkington (left) with Specialist Nurse for Organ Donation, Deborah Vernon

East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust revealed that latest organ donation statistics represent a 43% increase from the previous year. .

Between April 2017 and March 2018, 14 patients at the Royal Blackburn Teaching Hospital donated organs following death which made possible 42 organ transplants.

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Dr Carole Pilkington, Consultant Anaesthetist and Clinical Lead for Organ Donation at East Lancashire Hospitals, said: “Every transplant transforms the lives of the person who receives it, as well as their family and friends.

“We’re proud of the fact that, in the past 12 months, our staff have facilitated 14 patients to become organ donors, resulting in 42 lifesaving transplants - the highest number of organ donors and transplants ever at ELHT, highlighting the Trust’s continued commitment to end of life care choices.

“As these latest figures show, ELHT is close to achieving world class standards for organ donation; however the excellent team work and dedication must continue to ensure our impressive progress is maintained.”

Nationally, a record number of people in the UK have donated their organs after they died, according to NHS Blood and Transplant. Latest figures for the end of the financial year show there were 1,575 deceased donors during 2017/18, an 11 per cent increase on the previous financial year.

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“Most of us support organ donation and the overwhelming majority would accept an organ if we needed it," ELHT Specialist Nurse for Organ Donation, Deborah Vernon said.

“We would urge everybody who supports organ donation to show it by signing up to the organ donor register and discussing their wishes with their families.

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“The increase in donations and transplants is made possible thanks to the generosity of donors and their families and we thank them for the courage they show in helping us during a sad and stressful time.”

Despite the record number of organ donations in East Lancashire in this past year, an average of three patients die every day in the UK while waiting to receive an organ and more than 6,000 people are currently in need of a transplant.

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You can join the organ donation register online at www.organdonation.org.uk, over the phone (0300 123 23 23) or with your GP.

There is no upper or lower age limit to joining - the donor’s physical condition (and ability to consent in the case of children) is what is important; organs and tissue from people in their 70s and 80s have been transplanted successfully.