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Donor silence blamed for transplant refusals

Monday September 4th, 2017

Hundreds of organ transplants are not taking place in the UK simply because relatives do not know the wishes of a deceased person, campaigners warned today.

An analysis of refusals was published for Organ Donation Week, which begins today.

According to NHS Blood and Transplant, on average three potential donors a week are blocked because families are unaware of the wishes of the deceased.

Families can refuse to allow organ donation even if someone has joined the Organ Donor Register.

The British Heart Foundation said that just 200 heart transplants took place in the UK last year.

Medical director Dr Mike Knapton said: “It takes two minutes to sign up to the Organ Donor Register, and even less time to have a conversation with your loved one about your wishes. This might seem like a difficult conversation, but it could save the lives of people in desperate need of a heart transplant, and ensure your wishes are respected after death."

Anthony Clarkson, from NHS Blood and Transplant, said: “It’s a tragedy, hundreds of people are dying unnecessarily every year waiting for transplants.

“We know that if everyone who supported donation talked about it and agreed to donate, most of those lives would be saved."

Tags: Heart Health | Internal Medicine | NHS | Transplant | UK News

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