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More Croydon residents can save lives by becoming organ donors, says Trust, as 77 locals wait for transplants
07 September 2017

Croydon Health Services NHS Trust is urging more people to register as organ donors and to remember to tell a family member about their decision.

The Trust’s call to action comes during Organ Donation Week 2017 (4-10 September), which is led by NHS Blood And Transplant.

The proportion of Croydon residents(1) who have joined the UK Organ Donor Register has climbed to 36 per cent (103,798), equalling the national average.

Sadly, however, demand for transplants still exceeds supply both in Croydon and throughout the UK. Currently 77 Croydon residents are waiting for organ donations (mainly liver, cornea and kidney transplants). Tragically, 23 patients from Croydon have died since 2012 while waiting for organs to become available – including six people in 2016/17.

One major challenge is that half (53 per cent) of families in the UK say ‘no’ to donation if they have no clear indication of whether their relative wanted to be a donor. Also one in ten people on the NHS organ donor register has their wish denied because their family overrides their decision (2). It is vital that anyone registering as a donor makes their decision clear to their partner or family member.

Some people experience cultural barriers to family consent but it is notable that all major religions support organ donations. Croydon Health Services NHS Trust’s transplants are backed by local faiths.

Dr Mohammad Butt, Consultant Anaesthetist and Medical Lead on Organ Donations at Croydon Health Services NHS Trust, said:

“It is hard to imagine a more helpless situation than waiting and hoping for an organ donation. Thousands of people are in that situation right now and many live here in Croydon – some under my care.

“It would be wonderful if most people registered as organ donors and this ought to be possible. It only takes one moment - plus a few more to ensure a close relative knows your wishes. A few words can make an extraordinary difference.

“It is something to be proud of and, for loved-ones, it can be a huge comfort to know that someone’s passing could help another person live.”

Here are more facts about organ donation provided by NHS Blood And Transplant:

  • One organ donor can save or improve up to nine lives. Tissue donors can improve the lives of many more.
  • There are around 6,400 people in the UK waiting for an organ transplant.
  • On average, three people die every day across the UK in need of an organ transplant.
  • Although more than half a million people die each year across the UK, only around one in 100 die in circumstances where their organs can be donated.

Anyone can register as an organ donor by visiting www.organdonation.nhs.uk/ or calling 0300 123 23 23.

 

  • (1) People living in postcode areas CR0, CR2, CR3, CR4, CR5, and CR8.
  • (2) UK figures from NHS Blood And Transplant.
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