Make your wishes clear on donation

Registered organ donors in Northumberland have been urged to make their wishes clear to relatives.

A total of 24 Northumberland residents have died in the last five years due to the shortage of organs, and there are currently 36 people in the county waiting for a transplant.

NHS Blood and Transplant wants to encourage more people to register to pass on their organs in the event of their death.

But it is just as keen that those who do sign up make their decision clear to their families, who will ultimately have to agree to the donation.

Just 45 per cent of families agree to organ donation going ahead if they are unaware of the loved ones’ wishes, but the figure rises to 95 per cent when they know of their decisions.

Director of Organ Donation and Transplantation Sally Johnson said: “Last year, ten people living in Northumberland benefited from a life-saving organ transplant thanks to families making the decision to donate when a loved one died – a decision that we know makes them incredibly proud.

“We know that families are much less likely to allow organ donation to go ahead if they don’t know it’s what their loved one wanted.

“To help more people we need everyone, even if you’re one of the 109,015 people on the NHS Organ Donor Register in Northumberland, to tell those closest to you that you want to donate your organs.”

Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust now has two specialist organ donation nurses, Tracey Carrott and Kate Dreyer, to support families at Wansbeck and North Tyneside hospitals.