33 people in Sunderland remain on organ transplant list, says NHS

The new pink version of the NHS Organ Donor Card.
The new pink version of the NHS Organ Donor Card.

Nineteen people from Sunderland were given lifesaving organ transplants last year - but 33 more in the city are still playing the waiting game.

Figures released today by NHS Blood and Transplant’s annual Transplant Activity Report found that there are 91,701 Wearsiders registered on the donor register, but chiefs have made another appeal for more people to sign up and help save lives.

A total of 23 people from the Tyne and Wear area passed on their organs after dying in 2017.

Nationally, there was a record number of organ donors, with 1,574 people saving lives through deceased organ donation over the last year.

A total of 19 people were given an organ donation in Sunderland in 2017, but today, 33 remain on the waiting list.

However the overall shortage of donors remains and there is an urgent need for more people to support donation.

Around three people die a day in need of a donated organ but many people have never told their relatives they want to save lives.

Those at NHS Blood and Transplant say that letting your family know that you want to donate will make it much easier for them to support what you want.

Sally Johnson, director of Organ Donation and Transplantation for NHS Blood and Transplant, said: “We’re incredibly grateful to all the families in Sunderland who have chosen to say ‘yes’ to organ donation.

“Organ donation is the only hope for many desperately ill people.

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

“We want more people to have that opportunity.”

The annual report also added how the ageing population means the average age of potential donors is increasing.

The average age of donors in the Tyne and Wear area during the 2017 calendar year was 52.

Anyone can join the NHS Organ Donor Register, with age and medical conditions not necessarily a barrier to donation.

However many over 50s don’t join the NHS Organ Donor Register or tell their families they want to donate because they don’t think their organs could help other people.

Ms Johnson added: “People in older age groups can still save and transform lives through organ and tissue donation.

“Many more lives could be saved by telling their families they want to donate.”

Join the NHS Organ Donor Register at www.organdonation.nhs.uk