Faffing can be fatal, loafing can be lethal - public urged to become organ donors

If you want to be an organ donor, why wait to join the NHS Organ Donor Register? NHS Blood and Transplant is calling on people to register as an organ donor this Christmas.

Monday, 5th December 2016, 11:13 am
Updated Tuesday, 6th December 2016, 11:51 am
People are urged to take a few minutes of time online this Christmas to give the greatest gift and become an organ donor.

Right now across the UK, there are 6,500 people, including 150 children, living a life in limbo, waiting for a call that will change their lives. In Northumberland, there are currently 33 people on the transplant waiting list.

Sadly, a shortage of donors means too many people die before they get the transplant they need. In the last five years, 21 people in Northumberland have died waiting for a transplant.

While most people (81 per cent) say they support organ donation, only around a third of people in the UK (23.3 million) have joined the NHS Organ Donor Register. Too many people admit they just 'haven’t got round' to joining yet. In Northumberland, 124,571 people have registered their decision to be an organ donor.

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Sally Johnson, NHS Blood and Transplant director of organ donation and transplantation, said: "It's a terrible shame that so many people who want to save lives through organ donation have not taken the next, simple step to register that decision. We all have busy lives, yet most of us would admit that we still find ourselves whiling time away and delaying doing important things.

"Signing up to the NHS Organ Donor Register is one thing we know people often just haven't got around to doing. This Christmas, we are asking everyone who supports organ donation to take just a few minutes of their online time to show that support by joining the NHS Organ Donor Register."

There is no age limit to joining the register and everyone is encouraged to have a conversation with their family about organ donation and there is a particular need for more black and Asian organ donors.

Organ donation saves and transforms lives. Thanks to people donating after their deaths over the last year, nine people in Northumberland had a potentially life-changing transplant. In the last five years, 70 people in Northumberland have had a life-changing transplant.