Hospitals at Grimsby and Scunthorpe will be lighting up pink this week to mark this year’s Organ Donation Week.
The aim is to get people talking about the subject in the hope more people’s lives will be able to be transformed or saved by a transplant. Members of the portering team will also be clad in pink to help spread the message.
Health professionals from hospitals in Scunthorpe, Grimsby and Goole are urging people, as part of the awareness week, which runs from Monday September 7 to September 13, to talk about the subject.
The law changed this year to help save lives and improve more as every day across the UK someone dies waiting for a transplant. Under Max and Keira’s Law all adults will be considered to have consented to be an organ donor when they die unless they have recorded a decision not to or are in an excluded group.
Consultant anaesthetist and clinical lead on organ donation for Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust (NLaG) Dr Shan Dharmarajah said: “Organ donation remains a choice and families will still be involved in any donation decision. It is absolutely an individual’s choice whether they want to register as an organ donor or to opt out.
“Once a person has made their decision, we encourage them to let their friends and family know and consider registering their decision on the NHS Organ Donor Register.”
He said: “Facing up to the death of a loved one is hard. Having to make a decision about organ donation, when you are unsure what that person would have wanted, can add to the pain. It is really important to let your family and friends know your wishes.
“By getting more people talking about organ donation we can increase the number of live saving transplants. Sadly, many opportunities are lost every year because families don’t know if their loved one wanted to be a donor or not.”
Families will always be approached about donation if a loved one can donate their organs. Knowing what their loved one wanted helps families support their decision at a difficult time.
This is where the SNODS – specialist nurses in organ donation – come in. They work closely with hospital staff and families to ensure they are supported through the process.
SNOD Fay Turner said: “If more people had the discussion with their partner, friends or family it would really help as words save lives. This is why Organ Donation week this year is not only about celebrating our donors and their brave families, but really promoting the law change in a bid to get more people talking.”
Dr Dharmarajah added: “Transplants are one of the most miraculous achievements in modern medicine but they depend entirely on the generosity of donors and their families who are willing to make this life saving gift. One donor can give life to several people.”
• It is quick and easy to join the NHS Organ Donor Register. Call 0300 123 23 23 or visit www.organdonation.nhs.uk
• Families are always involved in organ donation discussions. You can make things easier for your family by telling them you want to donate.
• Anyone can join the NHS Organ Donor Register, age and medical conditions are not necessarily a barrier to donation.
• One donor can save or transform up to nine lives through organ donation and save and transforms even more by donating tissue.
• Those excluded will be people under 18, people who have lived in England for less than 12 months or who are not living here voluntarily, and people who lack the capacity to understand the change.