15 March 2023
Hywel Dda University Health Board is supporting an appeal for people to add their decision to the NHS Organ Donor Register and tell their family they want to save lives.
People in Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire are being called on to act now – because they could be a lifesaver. The Health Board is supporting NHS Blood and Transplant, which oversees organ donation in the UK, in calling on everyone in Wales to add their name and decision to the NHS Organ Donor Register. And to tell their family what they want.
Around 93,864 people in Carmarthenshire, 41,228 people in Ceredigion and 65,611 people in Pembrokeshire have already declared their decision through the NHS Organ Donor Register. However, people need to tell their family to help ensure they support their decision if they are approached about organ donation by a specialist nurse in hospital. When a family are approached, 9 out of 10 families will agree to donation if they know their family member was on the Organ Donor Register and talked about their decision.
Every organ donor can save up to nine lives after they die by giving their organs to patients waiting for a transplant.
Fifty-nine people in Wales became organ donors after their death in 2021/22. And 129 patients waiting for a transplant in Wales received a life changing gift last year.*
Thanks to incredible organ donors and their families thousands of lives are saved each year, however around 7,000 people are still waiting for their transplant, including 228 people in Wales.**
Everyone has a choice about whether they want to donate. You can register your decision (opt in or opt out) on the NHS Organ Donor Register. If you do not register a decision, it will be considered you have no objections to becoming a donor and your consent will be deemed.
People in Wales are being urged to make sure their family, who will always be involved if organ donation is a possibility, know what they want so they can support their decision to save lives. By adding your name and decision to the register and telling your family, they will be in no doubt.
Judith Hardisty, Vice Chair at Hywel Dda University Health Board, and Chair of its Organ Donation Committee, said: “Knowing what your relative wanted helps to support families’ decisions around organ donation at what is often a difficult time.
“We encourage more people to register their decision and talk with their loved ones about organ donation to give them the certainty they need to support their organ donation decision.”
Anthony Clarkson, Director of Organ and Tissue Donation and Transplantation at NHS Blood and Transplant, said: “You could be a lifesaver, which is an amazing legacy to leave – organ donation saves lives.
“Families will always be consulted before organ donation goes ahead and are more likely to support your decision if they know it is what you wanted.
“Please add your name and decision to the NHS Organ Donor Register to help save more lives. It takes just two minutes to sign up to be a lifesaver online.”
Search organ donation online, visit www.organdonation.nhs.uk/ (opens in new tab).
*Number of transplants thanks to deceased organ donors
**Waiting list as at the end of 2022
NHSBT press office can be contacted on 01923 367600 or by emailing email@example.com