Heartlands Hospital helps give the organ donation message a much needed lift

Published/updated: 21/09/17 10:11

Claire Johnson next to the organ donation lift wraps at Heartlands.

Heartlands Hospital is working with NHS Blood and Transplant to promote organ donation to all its staff, patients and visitors. The ground floor doors to the lifts in the Hospital’s tower block have been covered with eye catching messaging urging people to sign up to be an organ donor.

There are currently 166 people in Birmingham waiting for a transplant, who need people to say yes to organ donation so they can get the organ transplant they so desperately need.

The hospital is promoting organ donation in the hope that it will encourage people to think about it whilst waiting for the lift and then go on to register. This would hopefully open the door to more people getting the transplants they need.

Over the past year 82 people in Birmingham have had their lives saved or transformed thanks to deceased organ donors from across the UK. However, sadly three people a day still die whilst in need of a transplant due to the shortage of people willing to donate organs.

There is also a higher proportion of patients from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities on the waiting list for an organ transplant, but a lower proportion of organ donations from these communities. The process of organ donation involves extensive matching of tissue types, and a match is more likely in patients with a similar ethnicity. Hence the waiting time for patients from BAME backgrounds is longer than those from white British population. This is particularly relevant in Birmingham, where some communities have a higher incidence of kidney failure, often related to the complications of diabetes.

8 in 10 of us agree it’s important to tell those closest to us our views about organ donation after death, but only a third say their family knows their wishes about organ donation.* Surveys have also repeatedly shown that whilst over 75 percent of people agree to the idea of donating their organs after death, less than 30 percent have registered this on the national Organ Donation Register. There are many reasons for this, including that families may feel uncomfortable about discussing dying, or have just not got around to it. Often, when a loved one dies, their family do not know what their wishes might have been and it can be difficult for a family to consider this during their grief.
Claire Johnson, specialist nurse for organ donation at Heartlands Hospital, said: “Transplants save lives and are only possible if people are willing to donate. We hope this initiative will prompt our employees, patients and visitors to the hospital to think about organ donation and to commit to save lives as a donor by signing up to the NHS Organ Donor Register.”

Sign up today at www.organdonation.nhs.uk and let your friends and family know you want to help others after your death.

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