Number of donated organs falls for first time in 11 yearsOctober 2, 2015 // No Comments
2014/15 saw more than 4,400 people in the UK have their lives saved or improved by an organ transplant but the number of people that donated organs has fallen for the first time in 11 years.
The number of transplants decreased by 5% from 4,655 in 2013/14 to 4,431 in 2014/15. The reason for the fall in donor and transplant numbers is twofold:
- Fewer people died in circumstances where they could donate last year
- There has been no improvement in the consent/authorisation rate which remains below 60%.
NHS Blood and Transplant, the organisation that leads organ donation across the UK, is calling for everyone in the UK to discuss organ donation and decide what they would do if called on to donate. If there are fewer potential donors then gaining consent/authorisation from every one is even more important. The consent/authorisation rate has remained stubbornly below 60%. Unless there is a revolution in attitudes to organ donation people waiting for a transplant will continue to die needlessly.
Figures published in the Organ Donation and Transplantation Activity Report 2014/15 reveal that families are much more likely to agree to donation going ahead if they know it is what their loved one wanted. Last year, nearly nine out of ten families said yes when their loved one’s decision to donate was known, for example either via the NHS Organ Donor Register or via a previous discussion with them about organ donation. But even when their decision to donate was known, 120 families felt unable to honour their loved one’s decision to donate, denying them their dying wish to save others after their death.