The RUH in Bath is supporting the national ‘Pass it on’ campaign during Organ Donation Week (2nd – 8th September), to encourage more families and patients to talk about organ donation.
The hospital is hoping to increase the number of lives that can be saved or transformed by an organ transplant.
Five families at the RUH Trust consented to organ donation or respecting the wishes of their loved one in 2018/19, which led to at least 17 people receiving life-changing organ transplants.
Many more received life-enhancing transplants through tissue donation, such as corneal and heart valve transplants.
Joanne Pattemore, RUH Specialist Nurse in Organ Donation, said: “All families should be given the opportunity to discuss organ donation and explore this option with a specialist nurse.
“By providing this practice the critical care teams within the RUH Trust have continued to achieve a 100% referral rate for potential donors identified within the intensive care unit and the emergency department.
“These transplants could not happen without the dedicated work and support from our colleagues within the Trust, in particular, Intensive Care, ED and theatres, and more importantly the donor families who have a given us the opportunity to help others by offering the gift of life.
“Anyone can sign up to become an organ donor and it takes only a few minutes. Organ donation saves lives – to someone you can become a hero.”
Next year, the law around organ donation is changing in England. From spring 2020, all adults in England will be considered as having agreed to donate their own organs when they die unless they record a decision not to donate or are in one of the excluded groups.
Families will continue to be consulted before organ donation goes ahead.
Dr Kim Gupta, consultant and RUH Clinical Lead for Organ Donation, said: “Organ donation is an act of great generosity, which gives you the opportunity to save or transform someone else’s life after you have died.
“Individuals have the right to choose whether or not they would wish to be an organ donor, and I would encourage everyone to consider this.
“Whatever you decide, the best thing to do is to record whether or not you want to be an organ donor on the NHS Organ Donor Register, and then to make your choice clear to your family and closest friends to help ensure your choice is honoured.”
You can find out more and register your decision by visiting the NHS Organ Donor Register at www.organdonation.nhs.uk or by calling 0300 303 2094.