WITH more than 300 people, including more than 40 children, waiting for a heart transplant this Valentine’s Day, NHS Blood and Transplant is calling on families to have a heart-to-heart about organ donation.
While heart transplants have continued throughout the pandemic, with only 7% less in 2020/21 compared to the year before, the waiting list for a heart transplant has risen 85% in the last decade, from 169 patients in March 2012 to 313 in March 2021.
It is more important than ever that families share their decisions around organ donation to save more lives.
Anthony Clarkson, director of Organ and Tissue Donation and Transplantation at NHS Blood and Transplant, says: “Thousands of people across the UK are waiting for the call that a donor has been found to save or transform their life, and hundreds of them need a heart transplant.
“We encourage everyone to have that heart-to-heart now.”
Even though the law around organ donation has now moved to an opt out system across England, Wales, and Scotland, many people are still not aware that families will still always be consulted before organ donation goes ahead.
While families are more likely, and find it easier, to support donation when they know it is what their loved one wanted, only 43% of the UK population have registered their decision on the NHS Organ Donor Register.
And just 38% say that they have shared their organ donation decision with their family.
Anthony added: “Talk to your family and tell them your organ donation decision, leave them certain of it. And make sure you know what they would want too, so you can support their decision. This Valentine’s Day have a heart-to-heart and share your organ donation decision to help save more lives.”
As part of this Heart-to-Heart campaign, NHS Blood and Transplant will be sharing a video by spoken word artist Adaya Henry to help encourage more people to have the conversation about organ donation. To view the video visit: https://youtu.be/eC_TFqdVKRA.
For more information, or to register your organ donation decision, please visit: www.organdonation.nhs.uk or call 0300 123 23 23.