Record number of Sunderland people donate organs as law is set to change next year

People in Sunderland are being asked to talk to their families about their organ donation wishes.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 24 July, 2019, 16:45
121 people in Tyne and Wear currently need a donor organ for a transplant

The appeal comes in advance of the organ donation law changing early next year and fewer people are dying in circumstances where they are able to donate.

More people than ever – 1,600 – donated their organs after their death last year, according to the Organ Donation and Transplantation Activity Report published today.

In Tyne and Wear, 32 people gave the gift of life, by donating their organs after death but the report also shows that fewer people died in circumstances where they were able to donate their organs – 225 fewer than in 2017/18.

In the North East over the last five years, 60 people died before they received the organ they desperately needed – with 121 currently on the waiting list.

From spring 2020, all adults in England will be considered as having agreed to donate their own organs when they die unless they record a decision not to donate.

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Adults covered by the change will still have a choice whether they want to be an organ donor and their families will still be involved before organ donation goes ahead.

Experts say that, as the families of potential donors will continue to be approached by specialist nurses and asked to support their relative’s decision to be an organ donor, it’s hugely important that families know what their relative would have wanted to happen.

Anthony Clarkson, director of organ donation and Transplantation at NHS Blood and Transplant said: “We’re incredibly grateful to all the courageous donors and their families across the country, who helped us to save so many lives last year.

“We know many families feel a sense of pride and comfort from a decision to save lives through organ donation.

“With the law around organ donation changing in England from next spring, we urge everyone to find out about the choices available to them, make their decision and share it with their family.”