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147,000 join Organ Donor Register after ITV campaign

During ITV's From The Heart week to raise awareness for organ donation, record numbers of people applied to join the NHS Organ Donation Register.

On Feb 13th, when an ITV special programme on organ donation was broadcast, a record 48,000 applied online to join the register, with nearly 147,000 throughout the week.

An NHS organ donor card Credit: Clive Gee/PA Wire

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

"We could not have foreseen the unprecedented numbers of people who responded to the call to join the Organ Donor Register.

"So to each and every person who is now on the Register and crucially, has told their family, thank you."

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40% of families say no to donating organs

As part of ITV's From the Heart campaign, ITV Tyne Tees is looking at the issue of organ donation - and how to increase the number of donors.

NHS research conducted in Newcastle shows families asked whether they will donate a relative's organs shortly after their death say no 40% of the time. Even among those who have signed the organ donor register, expressing a wish to donate, one in ten families says no.

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