Families in Northern Ireland are being urged to talk about organ donation as many patients wait for a lifesaving transplant.
The call from the Public Health Agency (PHA) comes as around 7,000 people are actively waiting for a transplant across the UK, 155 of those in Northern Ireland.
The law around organ donation in Northern Ireland changed to an opt-out system on 1 June this year.
The PHA has made an appeal to everyone to talk about their organ donation decision with family, and to register their decision on the NHS Organ Donor Register.
Across the UK last year 1,429 people who donated their organs after death and the 958 living donors, 4,533 people with organ failure, who desperately needed a transplant, were given a gift of life.
In Northern Ireland in last year there were 59 deceased donors who enabled 140 lifesaving transplants across the UK, and 68 living donors who gave the gift of life to a further 59 patients.
In total, 155 patients in Northern Ireland received a deceased or living donor transplant.
In the year to date (1 April – 31 August 2023), there have been 23 deceased donors who have enabled and amazing 61 transplants to take place.
Figurers from the Public Health Agency show 54% of people in Northern Ireland have registered as an organ donor on the NHS Organ Donor Register. Aidan Dawson, Chief Executive of the PHA, said: “Family conversations around organ donation are so important to ensure they know what you would want to happen. Even though the law around organ donation has changed to an opt out system, family members continue to be consulted before organ donation goes ahead.
"This means it is important to let your family know what you want as it can help them support their loves one’s decision.
“We also urge people to proactively confirm any decision to be an organ donor on the NHS Organ Donor Register, as this provides families with further reassurance as to your donation decision.”
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