In Bradford, over 160 adults and children are anxiously awaiting life-saving transplant surgeries. Dr. James Morgan, a prominent doctor, is encouraging individuals to officially record their intention to donate, marking the commencement of National Organ Donation Week (September 18-24). As the city’s advocate for organ donation, Dr. Morgan implores people to contemplate the profound act of gifting life to another. Presently, 162 patients anticipate the crucial call notifying them of an available donor organ.

Dr Morgan, clinical lead for organ donation and an intensive care consultant at the Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said; “Organ donation is seen as a gift of life. One organ donor has the potential to save nine lives, which is an incredible legacy to leave.

“I would urge people throughout the city and region to sit down together, learn and talk about organ donation (www.organdonation.nhs.uk) with their families and loved ones so that your wishes are clear.”

In Bradford, more than 170,000 individuals have already expressed their preferences by enrolling in the Organ Donor Register (https://www.organdonation.nhs.uk/register-your-decision/), a process that takes only a few minutes online. Therefore, please take the step to communicate your decision so that your family can be certain of your wishes after you pass away.

Karen Piotr is the hospital’s organ donation committee chairperson and became involved after her husband, Mark donated his organs after his death following a catastrophic brain bleed. She is also a Donor Family Network Trustee.

Karen added; “In our Trust alone, 145 patients are currently waiting for a kidney transplant and between 2022 and 2023, four people from the district died waiting for the donor organ that never came which is a tragedy for our patients and their families.

“In the same period, 64 people across the district received the gift of life while ten donations occurred due to the generosity of people who died in Bradford.

“Here in Bradford we see the huge benefits that organ donation can bring so please, this organ donation week, talk to your family and leave them certain about your wishes.”

Typically, only about 1% of individuals who pass away in the UK each year can become organ donors. Donors are usually those who have succumbed in a hospital intensive care unit or emergency department due to brain injuries, cardiac arrest, or trauma.

Dr Morgan continued; “If you would like to help others by donating your organs after death, please prove it and register today. There are 162 people in Bradford this month in urgent need of transplants. Think about what it is like to be in their position.

“I hope that this year, families and loved ones will sit down and talk about donating their organs after their death. They have life-changing and lifesaving benefits to the living.”

Families are significantly more likely to honour donation requests when they are already aware of their loved one’s intentions. The vast majority respect the decision of their family member when the donor had previously registered their desire to donate on the NHS Organ Donor Register or discussed it openly with their family.

At times, family members are uncertain about honouring their loved one’s wish to donate, often due to a lack of prior discussion about organ donation. This leads to numerous missed opportunities to fulfil those wishes and improve or save lives. It is imperative that everyone who desires to be a donor officially registers their decision on the NHS Organ Donor Register and discusses it with their family, who will be relied upon to support that decision when the time comes.

In the UK, a person in need of an organ dies every day, and there are currently over 7,000 individuals on the active transplant waiting list.

Anthony Clarkson, Director of Organ and Tissue Donation and Transplantation, at NHS Blood and Transplant, added; “This Organ Donation Week we’re urging everyone to confirm their support for organ donation on the NHS Organ Donor Register.

“Families will still always be consulted before organ donation goes ahead and we know that 9 out of 10 families will agree to support organ donation if their loved one has confirmed their decision to donate on the register.

“The more people who make their decision known on the NHS Organ Donor Register, the more families will support that decision and the more lives will be saved.”