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Officials 'Heartfelt thanks' to organ donor's families

NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) officials have offered their "heartfelt thanks" to the families who donated their deceased loved one's organs and "helped transform the lives of others".

Sally Johnson, director of organ donation and transplantation at NHSBT, said.

Last year we set out our aspiration to match the best countries in the world for organ donation and transplantation, and if we are going to achieve this we will need to see a revolution in attitudes in society towards donation.

The increase in donors reflects increasing support in hospitals to refer potential donors to us and more families being approached, but there has been little change in our attitude to donation over the last few years. It's still not something we would all be proud to do.

Read: Record number donate organs in the UK

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Record number donate organs in the UK

A record number of people have donated organs after death in the UK, health officials announced.

Last year organs were taken from 1,323 people who died - a 13.7% rise on the previous year, NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) said.

A special container for the transport of donated organs is seen in a hospital
A special container for the transport of donated organs is seen in a hospital Credit: Soeren Stache/DPA/Press Association Images

The organs were given to 3,500 people, a spokeswoman for the body, which is responsible for organ donations in the health service, said.

The figures for 2013 also show that 58.6% of bereaved families who were asked to donate their loved one's organs did so - a rise from 56.5% the previous year.

Organ donation for young children can be 'really tough'

My heart goes out to all the families that find themselves in the position where they have to make a decision about organ donation.

In particular, the decision to donate on behalf of a young child is really tough. But organ donation saves lives and donor families talk with pride of the difficult but ultimately rewarding decision to donate their loved one's organs. Knowing that they have helped save another family from a terrible experience, often helps them deal with their grief.

There are around 10,000 people in the UK in need of a transplant and some of these are young children. In order to save more lives, we need more people to join the organ donor register.

– Sally Johnson, Director of Organ Donation and Transplantation at NHS Blood and Transplant

Five-week-old baby Britain's youngest organ donor

A five-week-old baby has become the youngest organ donor in Britain according to a report in the Sunday Times.

The child died earlier this year from heart failure and their kidneys were transplanted to 22-year-old Samira Kauser.

A five-week-old baby has become Britain's youngest organ donor.
A five-week-old baby has become Britain's youngest organ donor. Credit: Angelika Warmuth

The paper claims that younger donors are being sought due to the shortage of adult organ donors.

Find out more about organ donation.

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Priority surgery for organ donors

A Midlands doctor is calling for a radical approach to increase the number of black and Asian people donating their organs.

Organ donating forms Credit: ITV News Central

According to Dr Adnan Sharif, a kidney consultant at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, the UK should consider a scheme where priority for surgery is given to people already on the organ donor register.

He says there has been a 'huge failure' to boost organ donation rates among Asian and other ethnic minority groups.

Calls for new approach to organ donation

Relatives of non-white people are also less likely than white people to give consent for organ donation from loved ones who have died in appropriate circumstances for donation.

Simply pushing for more registrants on the organ donor register is not the solution because only a third of eventual donors are actually registered at the time of their death.

A new approach should be to tackle the elephant in the room: the problem of apathy or so called free riders - people who are happy to receive an organ but not to donate.

– Dr Adnan Sharif, a kidney consultant at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham

'Failure' to boost ethnic minority organ donation rates

An expert warned there has been a "huge failure" to boost organ donation rates among black, Asian and other ethnic minority groups. Credit: PA Wire

There has been a "huge failure" to boost organ donation rates among black, Asian and other ethnic minority groups, an expert has said.

The UK should now consider a scheme where priority for surgery is given to people already on the organ donor register, according to Dr Adnan Sharif, a kidney consultant at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham.

Read about ITV's From The Heart appeal here

Figures show that ethnic minorities make up 10.8% of the UK population yet represent 24% of the organ waiting list.

Just 4.2% of organ donors are from minority ethnic backgrounds and there are only around 118,000 people registered from these backgrounds to give an organ after their death, Dr Sharif wrote online in the British Medical Journal (BMJ).

Read: 147,000 join organ donor register after ITV campaign

The singing heart patient looks to the future

Vincenzo Avanzato
Vincenzo Avanzato can enjoy life again thanks to a successful heart transplant operation Credit: ITV News

The number of organ transplants carried out in the UK has reached a record high, figures show.

Vincenzo Avanzato spent 13 weeks on an urgent list awaiting an organ. To help pass the time he sang Italian arias daily, even while being wheeled to the operating theatre for his transplant last Christmas.

Find out more about Vincenzo's story

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