Organ and Tissue Donation

Give the gift of life

Transplants are one of the most miraculous achievements of modern medicine. But they depend entirely on the generosity of donors and their families who are willing to make this life-saving gift to others.

One donor can save the life of several people and greatly enhance the life of many more from tissue donation. Corneal transplantation helps to restore the sight of more than 2500 blind and partially sighted people every year in the United Kingdom.

Right now there are more than 10,000 people in the U.K. that need a transplant and every year around 1,000 people will die waiting.

The generosity of donors and their families enables over 3,000 people in the UK every year to take on a new lease of life.

Doctors and nurses are committed to doing everything possible to save life and organ donation only takes place after a patient has died.

What is organ/tissue donation ?

Organ Donation is the gift of an organ to help someone else who needs a transplant. Hundreds of peoples' lives are saved each year by the generosity of organ donors.

Organs that can be donated after death include the heart, lungs, kidneys, liver, pancreas and small bowel. Tissue such as corneas and heart valves can also be used to help others.

Tissue donation is the gift of tissue such as corneas and heart valves to help others. Most people can donate tissue. Unlike organs, it may be possible to donate tissue up to 24 hours after a person has passed away.

The facts

Many relatives say that they have found comfort in knowing that the loss of their loved one has given someone else the chance to live.

You are more likely to need a transplant than become a donor.

The removal of organs and tissues is carried out with the same care and respect as any other operation.

To decide whether or not you wish to give life to someone else after you have died is something very personal and it is important that everyone makes their own decision.

Even if you carry a donor card you should also join the NHS Organ Donor Register and discuss your decision with those closest to you so they know your wishes.

Putting your name on the organ donation register makes everyone aware of your wishes and makes it easier for them to agree to your transplant donation. It is important to talk to your family, friends and next of kin to make sure they know what you want. You can join the Organ Donor Register by contacting 0300 123 23 23 and for further information on organ donation http://www.uktransplant.org.uk and you can also contact:

Mary McAfee, Specialist Nurse Organ Donation
mary.mcafee@northerntrust.hscni.net.

Joanne Byrne, Specialist Nurse Organ Donation
joanne.byrne@northerntrust.hscni.net

As the need for organs is greater than the number of donations the Northern Health and Social Care Trust is keen to increase figures for organ donation and has set up an organ donation committee and is looking into ways to increase understanding and benefits of organ donation. Dr Ronald Bailie is the Trust Clinical Lead for Organ Donation and Professor Dorothy Whittington is the Organ Donation Committee Chairperson.

Useful websites

NHSBT - Organ Donation - Join the register
NHSBT - NHS Blood and Transplant ... Add your name to the NHS Organ Donor Register and one day you may be able to save lives.

NHSBT - Organ Donation - Home
The Organ Donation and Transplantation Directorate of NHS Blood and Transplant supports organ transplantation, providing donor organ matching and ...

NHSBT - Organ Donation - Publications
Each publication listed below can be accessed in one or more formats. The main link is normally to the web page. If a Word (.doc) or PDF version of a document ...
‎Regular papers and publications - ‎Fact sheets - ‎Posters and leaflets - ‎Welsh leaflets

NHSBT - Organ Donation and Transplantation
Information source for healthcare professionals and other interested parties.

Organ donation
Watch videos of people sharing their experiences of Organ donation

NICE guidelines
Organ donation for transplantation: Improving donor identification and consent rates for deceased organ donation

Page last updated:04 February 2013