If you're wondering why you should join the Organ Donor Register, and whom you should tell once you have, then read on.
What is organ donation?
Organ donation is the unconditional gift of an organ to help someone who needs a transplant. 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.
Why do I need to join the Register?
The NHS Organ Donor Register is, quite literally, a life-saver.
It is a confidential, computerised database which holds the wishes of more than 19 million people who have decided that, after their death, they want to leave a legacy of life for others. The Register is used to help healthcare professionals establish which organs a person wanted to donate.
By adding your name to the Register this will enable healthcare professionals to carry out your donation wishes in the event of your death.
Most people say that they would be willing to take an organ if they needed one, but only around 30% of us have joined the Register. 10,000 people in the UK currently need a transplant. Of these, about 1000 each year – that's three a day - will die waiting as there are not enough organs available.
Please help us to save and improve mores lives by registering on the NHS Organ Donation Register and informing your loved ones of your wishes if you have not done so already.
Who should I tell?
Close family and friends. At the point of donation, the person closest to you in life will be asked what they think you would have wanted, so it is important that you make sure they are aware of your wishes.
If you register as an organ donor without telling the people closest to you, it may come as a surprise at a time when they are trying to deal with their loss.
If you think you would find it difficult to raise the subject, you could try using the ITV From The Heart campaign to start a discussion.
How do I know if I'm on there?
You can re-join the Register at www.organdonation.nhs.uk and our system will automatically identify whether you are already signed up and update any relevant details, or you can update your details here.
Alternatively you can check and/or update the Register by calling the NHSBT Donor Line on 0300 123 23 23 or writing to FREEPOST RRZKSHUX- SBCK, NHSBT, Fox Den Road, Stoke Gifford, Bristol, BS34 8RR.