Law change on organ donors could save hundreds of lives on Merseyside

By Chloe Tomkins

New figures have revealed that over the last 10 years more than 100 people in Merseyside have died while waiting for an organ transplant.

The statistics, from NHS Blood and Transplant, show that 108 deaths have been recorded in the region between the period of 2007/08 and 2016/17 of people who were on either the active or suspended transplant list. In England, at the beginning of 2018, there were 5,500 patients needing an organ transplant and only 2,579 currently able to donate.

MPs are set to vote on a bill to change the donation laws to an ‘opt-out’ system, which has been adopted by 24 European countries such as Spain, Austria and Belgium. Wales are also using the opt-out system. As of December 2015, if Welsh citizens had not recorded any organ donation decision, they will be treated as having no objection to donating any of their organs. Scotland are also set to follow this system.

At present in England, people have to opt in to become a donor after their death.

Speaking about the need for more heart donors, the Associate Medical Director Dr Mike Knapton from the British Heart Foundation said:
“There are over 250 people on the waiting list but only 200 heart transplants took place last year in the UK. For these people, it’s an agonising wait for a new heart that could mean the difference between life and death.
“It takes two minutes to sign up to the Organ Donor Register, and even less time to have a conversation with your loved one about your wishes. This might seem like a difficult conversation, but it could save lives of people in desperate need of a heart transplant, and ensure your wishes are respected after death.”thumbnail_IMG_6020For more information about organ donation you can visit https://www.organdonation.nhs.uk/

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