NHS Tayside is supporting Organ Donation Week from 3 to 7 September with information stands at Ninewells Hospital and at Perth Royal Infirmary.
The campaign’s theme is ‘We Need Everybody’ and the focus of this year’s campaign is to encourage people to share their organ donation decision with their families.
50% of the Scottish population have joined the organ donor register, but this is still not enough. Sadly some patients are still dying whilst waiting because there are not enough donors, and there are currently around 550 people with life-threatening illnesses on active transplant waiting lists.
In support of Organ Donation Week, NHS Tayside is encouraging the people of Tayside to join the organ donor register by visiting www.weneedeverybody.org.
Everyone is encouraged to sign up to the organ donor register regardless of their ethnicity, body shape, size or medical history. Through one organ donor, up to seven lives can be changed and many more if tissue is donated. All the major organs including kidneys, heart, liver, lungs, pancreas and the small bowel can be transplanted. Last year, organ donation changed the lives of 469 people in Scotland.
Throughout the week there will be information stands on the main concourse at Ninewells and in the reception area at Perth Royal Infirmary to raise awareness of why it is important to join the organ donor register, find out how successful transplants are and why it is so important that people discuss their decisions with their families.
Specialist nurses along with representatives from local charities Revival and Tayside Kidney Patients Association will be hosting the information stand at Ninewells giving out information on organ donation every day from 10am until 3pm.
The information stand at Perth Royal Infirmary will also have a wide range of information leaflets on organ donation available for the public and staff.
NHS Tayside Consultant in Anaesthesia and Intensive Care Medicine, Dr Stephen Cole said, “One organ donor can save or transform up to seven lives so we really need everybody to sign the register. The message of ‘We need everybody’ is very true and as this year’s campaign again highlights all shapes, sizes and ages can join the register.
“There are around 550 people waiting for an organ transplant in Scotland, but there are not enough organs to meet these needs and sadly someone dies every day whilst waiting for an organ.
“Lots of people think they would be unsuitable to donate organs and tissues because of medical history or lifestyle choices, but each potential donor is individually assessed and we need people from all ethnicities and backgrounds to register.
“It is vital that everyone who joins the organ donor register and those who would like to be an organ donor but have not yet signed up talk to their families and close friends about their decisions.
“Joining the organ donor register takes about two minutes but those two minutes could quite literally save a life.”
You can register to be a donor at www.weneedeverybody.org