Call for more donors to buck national trend

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Residents are being urged to discuss organ donation with their families.

The call comes from NHS Blood and Transplant after new figures revealed that the number of organ transplants and the number of people donating has fallen for the first time in more than a decade.

Between April 1, 2014, and March 31, 2015, two patients at Whiston Hospital were eligible to become donors, resulting in four kidneys, two livers and one pancreas being transplanted.

Dr Francis Andrews, assistant medical director, consultant intensive care at St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust said: “The importance of discussing your wishes around organ donation with your closest relatives cannot be underestimated.

“Families are asked to make decisions at the most difficult of times and knowing your loved ones wishes can make it that little bit easier.

“You should also record your decision on the Organ Donor Register. Increasing the number of people who agree to organ donation is essential.

“One organ and tissue donor can save the lives of up to 10 people and significantly improve the lives of many more.”

Whiston has not seen a huge change on the year before but nationally the number of transplants fell for the first time in 11 years from 4,655 in 2013/14 to 4,431 in 2014/15.

NHS Blood and Transplant, who released the figures, have said that there is many reasons for the drop, including fewer people dying in circumstance where they could donate.

The first is that fewer people died in circumstances where they could donate last year (potential donors 8,157 in 2013/14 compared to 7,450 in 2014/15) and there has been no improvement in the consent rate which remains below 60 per cent.

NHS Blood and Transplant’s director of organ donation and transplantation, Sally Johnson, said: “The decreases we can see across all types of organ transplant will lead to more deaths if we do not reverse this trend.

“We know there is a combination of reasons for the decreases, but we cannot hope to save more lives unless UK citizens talk about organ donation with their families and agree to donate if ever they are asked.”

To find out more or to join the register, visit organdonation.nhs.uk.