More sign up to donate their organs on the NHS register
Aug 4 2008 by Madeleine Brindley, Western Mail
MORE than 11,000 people have joined the NHS Organ Donor Register in the wake of the first all-Wales organ donation campaign.
In the two months since the Donate Wales – Tell a Loved One campaign was launched in mid May, the number of people in Wales who have registered now stands at 791,543.
But the number of people waiting for an organ transplant in Wales have also increased – the figure now stands at 490, a 61% increase since 2001. The majority of people on the list are waiting for a new kidney.
And in the last five years 150 people from Wales have died while waiting for an organ transplant.
The Donate Wales campaign, which is led by the Kidney Wales Foundation, is the first of its kind in Wales and is designed to raise awareness about organ donation and encourage people to talk about their wishes with their families.
Although nine out of 10 people in Wales support the principle of organ donation, 40% of families refuse to allow their loved ones’ organs to be donated, even if they carried a donor card.
The campaign has been backed by Welsh celebrities including rugby star James Hook, and athlete and TV presenter Colin Jackson.
Roy J Thomas, chairman of the Kidney Wales Foundation, said: “We know that around 90% of people in Wales support organ donation, yet only 27% have acted on their good intentions and signed up.
“Since we launched the Tell a Loved One campaign, many people have told us that joining the Organ Donor Register has been something they have always wanted to do, but never got round to.
“The campaign has given these people the chance to take that extra vital step and just as importantly got more people talking about organ donation.”
To join the Organ Donor Register text GIVE to 64118, visit www.donatewales.org or contact 0845 60 60 400