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Families continue to save and improve lives through deceased organ donation at North Middlesex University Hospital NHS Trust – despite Covid-19 pandemic

New figures reveal there were two deceased organ donors at North Middlesex University Hospital NHS Trust (North Mid) last year, helping save or improve the lives of seven people. Across the UK, 3391 people desperately in need of a transplant in the UK received a new organ last year.

NHS Blood and Transplant and North Mid have released the figures to mark the publication of the annual Transplant Activity Report.

The report reveals a steady increase in support for organ donation around the country, with 69% of families giving their consent when asked about organ donation.

The annual report shows deceased organ donation fell last year due to the pandemic where Covid-19 had a wide-reaching impact across the whole NHS and every aspect of UK society.

Despite this, 1,180 people in the UK donated their organs after they died, saving or improving the lives of 3,391 transplant recipients and giving hope to the thousands of patients still waiting.

Vikki Howarth, Clinical Lead for organ donation at North Middlesex University Hospital NHS Trust, said: “The coronavirus pandemic has impacted every aspect of our lives. Whilst it will take time to recover as a country, it is important to remember how far organ donation has come and the impact it can have within our local community.

“It is vital that we have the conversation about organ donation with our family and friends sooner rather than later as it save thousands of lives. People of all ages could be at risk of needing an organ therefore this conversation may be the difference that ensures someone receives a lifesaving transplant. We can all play our part and give someone the hope they need.”

The law around organ donation in England changed to an opt out system in May last year, and it is hoped public support for organ donation will continue to build.

Organ donation remains a most precious gift. Adults covered by the new law change still have a choice about whether or not they want to donate, and families are still involved before organ donation goes ahead.

John Forsythe, Medical Director of Organ and Tissue Donation and Transplantation, at NHS Blood and Transplant, says: “This past year has been completely unprecedented in the history of the NHS, as well as in our wider society. So, the fact that we managed to maintain three quarters of our normal donation and transplantation activity across the UK is absolutely phenomenal. 

“There’s no escaping the fact that organ donation and transplantation will take some time to recover completely, as will the rest of the NHS. But each one of us in the wider clinical team of donation and transplantation, across the UK, are immensely proud of the work to keep organ donation and transplants happening in the most challenging circumstances. But our commitment is nothing compared with donors and their families – the gift of life has been donated in the midst of a tragedy made even more difficult by Covid restrictions.”

Find out more and register your decision by visiting NHS Organ Donor Register at www.organdonation.nhs.uk and share your decision with your family.

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