Organ donors on increase

Worcester News: Catherine Amies Catherine Amies

ORGANS made available for transplant by county donors have increased four-fold in two years, saving up to 30 lives.

The people of Worcestershire provided organs for seven transplant operations in 2010 but this increased to 30 transplants in 2012.

However, more work is needed as 80 people in the county are still waiting for a transplant. More than 10,000 people in the UK currently need a transplant and of these, 1,000 each year (three a day), will die waiting as there are not enough organs available.

Michael Amies, aged 76, of Bridge Street, Pershore, who is chairman of Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust organ donation committee, said the donors who had come forward in the county had saved or transformed the lives of 30 people.

He said: “It’s marvellous. Organ donation has now become part of what the staff do, not something extraordinary. It is a change of mindset. They have to make that awful decision, when a patient cannot be saved, to save other people.”

Mr Amies lost his 38-year-old daughter Catherine Amies in January 2010 while she was waiting for a double kidney and pancreas transplant only to discover she was herself a donor, helping to save others though she herself could not be saved. Patients in Malvern are most likely to be donors in Worcestershire. Half of the population or 37,000 people are on the organ donation register but patients in Worcester are lagging behind. In the city only 16,000 people or 17 per cent of the population are on the register. In Wychavon 41,800 people (35.8 per cent) are on the register.

In the county as a whole 182,327 people are on the register (about 32 per cent of the county’s population).

An organ donation task force was set up in 2006 to increase organ donation over a five-year period ending in 2012/13. A barrier to donation remains consent. Even if a patient is on the register, if the family do not consent to the use of organs, they do not proceed.

For more details, visit organdonation.nhs.uk.

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