More people still needed for organ donations despite a rise last year

More people in Northumberland are helping save lives through organ donation.
More people in Northumberland are helping save lives through organ donation.

More people in Tyne and Wear are saving lives through deceased organ donation, latest figures have revealed.

The figures show 23 people became lifesaving deceased organ donors over the last year, helping the UK reach its highest ever number of donors.

NHS Blood and Transplant’s annual Transplant Activity Report today reveals there is growing support for organ donation in the region.

In North Tyneside, there were five or fewer lifesaving deceased donors with 21 people on the transplant waiting list.

Sally Johnson, director of organ donation and transplantation for NHS Blood and Transplant, said: “We’re incredibly grateful to all the families in Tyne and Wear who have chosen to say ‘yes’ to organ donation.

“Organ donation is the only hope for many desperately ill people. We know many families feel a sense of pride and comfort from their decision to save lives through organ donation.”

“We want more people to have that opportunity.”

The annual report also demonstrates how the ageing population means the average age of potential donors is increasing. The average age of donors in Tyne and Wear during the 2017 calendar year was 52.

Anyone can join the NHS Organ Donor Register, age and medical conditions are not necessarily a barrier to donation. However many over 50s don’t join the NHS Organ Donor Register or tell their families they want to donate because they don’t think their organs could help other people.

Sally said: “We need more people aged over 50 in Tyne and Wear to support donation.

“People in older age groups can still save and transform lives through organ and tissue donation. Many more lives could be saved by telling their families they want to donate.”

For more information or to join the NHS Organ Donor Register visit www.organdonation.nhs.uk