Organ donors in Bradford on the rise – but call made for more to register

More than 152,000 people1 are now registered organ donors in Bradford, a rise of a third on seven years ago.

The new figures show how the number of donors in the district has jumped from 116,325 to 152,345 – an increase of 31 per cent over the period.

However, despite the increase in those wishing to become organ donors after their death, more people are still needed to join the Organ Donor Register.

Nationally, three people die every day while waiting for a transplant – and 95 people throughout the Bradford district are currently on the transplant waiting list.

There is also a particular need for people from Asian and black backgrounds to register.

Dr Andy Baker, Clinical Lead for Organ donation at Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which operates Bradford Royal Infirmary and St Luke’s Hospital, said: “Organ donation is being able to give someone else the gift of life. One organ donor has the potential to save nine lives, which is an amazing legacy to leave behind.

“This Valentine’s Day, I would urge people throughout the city to sit down and talk about organ donation with their families and loved ones, so that your wishes are clear.

“Many people don’t realise that their family’s support is needed for organ donation to go ahead, so this Valentine’s Day, share your decision with your loved one.

“If you’ve never talked to your partner or your family about your decision to be a donor, they will not know you want to save lives and you could leave them guessing what you would have wanted at a difficult time. Or it might come as a surprise that you have registered your decision to save lives, making it hard to support your decision to donate.

“Every year, organs go to waste because relatives aren’t sure what their loved one wanted. If more people join the NHS Organ Donor Register and talk to their families, more lives will be saved, as more families will agree to support their loved one’s decision to donate. So please talk it over with them today.”

This year to date (2018/19) in Bradford 39 people have received a new kidney, six a new liver and a further 26 new corneas.

Raz Igasan, specialist nurse for organ donation at Bradford Teaching Hospitals and NHS Blood and Transplant, said: “We are very grateful to these people and their families who have donated organs. They should find comfort in the fact that their generous donations have saved or improved the lives of people here in Bradford this year.

“We would also appeal to our South Asian community to come forward and sign up to our Organ Donor Register as this section of our population has much longer to wait for a transplant due to blood group and tissue matching differences – despite being four times more likely to need a kidney transplant due to their genetic predisposition to suffer from kidney disease and kidney failure 2.

“If an organ comes from an Asian donor, there is a better chance of success if the blood group and tissues match, so I would appeal to people in the Asian community to consider joining the organ donor register today. Discuss it openly with your family this Valentine’s Day, so you can fulfil your wishes when you die.”

To join the NHS Organ Donor Register visit today.

1All statistics correct as of January 24, 2019 (latest available statistics from NHS Blood and Transplant).
2. British South Asians have a higher risk for kidney disease and kidney failure than white British patients. The reasons why are not fully understood. However, diabetesseems to be one reason. High blood pressure, diet and access to healthcare may also play a role.

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