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Poots praises record number of organ donors and transplants for Northern Ireland residents

The number of organ donors registered in Northern Ireland has reached an all time high at just over 582,000 people.
Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Speaking after the publication of quarterly statistics published by NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) the Minister said: “I am pleased to report that in 2013/14, a record number of donors were registered on the Organ Donation Register in Northern Ireland.

“In conjunction, there was a record high in the number of people who donated their organs after their death.

“This is one of the greatest gifts that anyone can give and I would like to thank those donors and their families for thinking of others at what must have been a very difficult time.

“Through their generosity, a record number of Northern Ireland residents were able to undergo life changing, and sometimes life-saving, surgery.”

The statistics also show that there were a record number of live kidney donations and associated transplants.

Main findings for Northern Ireland

Donations

  • A rise in donation after brain death (DBD) (29 in 12/13 to 32 in 13/14).
  • An increase in donation after circulatory death (DCD) (11 in 12/13 to 14 in 13/14).
  • The above equates to an increase in deceased donations (40 in 12/13 to 46 in 13/14); this is the highest figure recorded in a financial year.
  • There has been a substantial increase in living donors (53 in 12/13 to 61 in 13/14); this is the highest figure recorded in a financial year.

Waiting list

  • A reduction in the number of people actively waiting for a transplant (190 at 31 March 2013 to 161 in 13/14); this is the lowest number recorded in a financial year.

Registrants on the organ donor register

  • An increase in the number of people on the organ donor register (ODR) (548,291 on the ODR on 31 March 2013 (30%) to 582,623 on 31 March 2014 (32%)).

The Minister continued: “Once again I want to extend my very heartfelt thanks to the donors, who, despite having to undergo major surgery, selflessly thought of the difference they would make to the person receiving their kidney.”

“I believe that this continued progress confirms that the approach that I have taken to determine whether statutory opt-out legislation for Northern Ireland is needed is the right one.

“Raising public awareness about the need to consider donating our organs, combined with surveying public opinion on the role of statutory opt out to establish their views on this important matter, will allow us to make the right decisions.

“Whilst the progress made is to be applauded, we should not be complacent, as there are still around 160 people waiting on a transplant.

The Minister concluded: “I would ask everyone to support the Public Health Agency’s ‘Speak up and save a life’ campaign and would encourage individuals to talk about organ donation with family and close friends so that they are aware of their loved ones wishes.

“If you haven’t already signed the register or would like more information, please take the time to visit the Organ Donation NI website which is packed full of information and resources.”

NHSBT statistics are produced on a quarterly basis and can be accessed on the organ donation website.

Notes to editors:

  1. NHSBT is the organ donation and transplantation organisation for the whole of the UK.
  2. Media queries about this press release to DHSSPS Press Office on 028 9052 0505 or out of office hours, contact the duty press officer via pager number 07699745440 and your call will be returned.