Words really do save lives

Organ Donation Week runs between 3-9 September and, this year, we’re encouraging people to share their organ donation decision with their families.

Together with hospitals, charities and supporters of organ donation we are highlighting that words save lives. The more people talk about organ donation with their families the better. Many people don’t realise that family support is needed for organ donation to go ahead.

Do your family know whether you would like to be an organ donor? Have you ever talked about organ donation with them? If not, chat to them about it during Organ Donation Week! It makes a difficult situation easier when families have already had a conversation about organ donation.

Fewer than half of families agree to donation going ahead if they are unaware of their loved one’s decision to be a donor. However, over nine out of ten families agree to organ donation going ahead when the decision to be an organ donor is known.

Last year’s Organ Donation Week was a huge success. During the week 28 August-3 September 2017, sign ups to the NHS Organ Donor Register (ODR) numbered 24,274. The following week, sign ups increased to 42,730.

The media played a key role in the success of last year’s campaign. In a survey following the activity, 57% of respondents who recalled the campaign said they had seen something on the TV, 25% said they had seen something in the press. The sad but incredible story of Jemima Layzell, who donated eight organs, brought a significant spike in registrations and helped us to garner national press coverage, raising awareness of organ donation significantly.

What’s happening this year?

We are busy organising our Organ Donation Week film, which will capture unscripted reactions to organ donation-themed questions on the street. These will be supported by the real-life stories of those affected by donation, including donor families, transplant recipients and people waiting for the call. Look out for these on our Twitter page @NHSOrganDonor and share them far and wide.

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