THE NHS have appealed for more people to register as organ donors in an aim to assist the 6,500 patients currently waiting for transplants.
The appeal, which was launched today, claims that less people would die while waiting on the transplant list if more people “got round” to registering.
The NHS Blood and Transplant office stated: “While most people (81%) say they support organ donation, only around a third of people in the UK (23.3 million) have joined the NHS Organ Donor Register.
“Too many people admit they just ‘haven’t got round’ to joining yet.”
While 766 people within Greater Manchester have had a successful organ transplant in the last five years, in the same amount of time, 177 people have died while waiting on the organ transplant list.
Elliott Livingstone, 3, has spent the majority of his life in hospital and is one of the patients who received a new heart from an anonymous donor earlier this year.
Elliott had suffered from dilated cardiomyopathy, a heart condition in which blood cannot be pumped around the body efficiently.
His father, Adrian Livingstone, who was worried his son may not live to have the transplant, said: “Thanks to an organ donor, this year we are looking forward to a Christmas we never thought we would have the chance to have. For this we will always be grateful.”
The NHS claim that there is a particular need for more black and Asian organ donors, due to higher frequencies of conditions such as diabetes and certain forms of hepatitis.
While some of these transplants could be done from a white-skinned donor, in some cases patients may only be compatible if they are from the same ethnic background.
NHS Blood and Transplant department are urging people to sign up to the NHS Organ Donor Register on the run up to Christmas, either online or by calling the 24 hour donor line: 0300 123 23 23.