THE BLOG

Have You Told Your Family Your Organ Donation Decision?

11/07/2014 14:21 BST | Updated 08/09/2014 10:59 BST

New figures out today show that just 45% of families agree to organ donation going ahead if they are unaware of their loved one's decision to be a donor - but this figure rises to 95% when they know the decision.

To mark this year's National Transplant Week, NHS Blood and Transplant has launched #spellitout - a campaign urging the public to tell their family and friends their donation decision, register officially online and encourage others to do the same.

As a young mum, if I was in the position where one of my children needed an organ I would be eternally grateful to the donor's family. Should the time come where any of my family could be a donor for someone, I know that we would make the right choice for another family. That's why, amongst many other faces including the incredibly inspirational Katie Piper and Olympian Beth Tweddle, I'm supporting the #spellitout campaign.

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Many people will be unaware that, on average, three people a day die in need of an organ transplant in the UK because there aren't enough organs available. More lives could potentially be saved if more families agreed to donate their loved ones organs after death. Despite the thousands of life-saving transplant operations which take place every year, around 10,000 people are currently in need of a lifesaving organ transplant.

We know that families are much less likely to allow organ donation to go ahead if they don't know their loved ones wishes, so it's vitally important to have that conversation and spell it out. Tell those closest to you that you want to donate your organs after you die to help some of the people in the UK currently in need of a life changing transplant.

TV personality Katie Piper give me an insight into why she was supporting National Transplant Week; "Letting your loved ones know you want to be an organ donor is so important. My cornea came from an organ donor and if he had not told his friends and family he wanted to be a donor, they might not have allowed donation to go ahead; meaning my life would be very different today.

"It is devastating for families when someone they love dies so it's not fair to expect them to have to make the decision for you. If you talk openly to your family about your decision to donate your organs it could save them a great deal of stress when you die."

Contrary to popular belief, there are few barriers to joining the NHS Organ Donor Register. It's a confidential and secure database where you can record your decision to be an organ donor in just minutes.

So what are you waiting for?

Find out more and register your organ donation decision at transplantweek.co.uk.

You can also follow NHS Blood and Transplant on twitter @NHSOrganDonor and support us on Facebook www.facebook.com/organdonationuk and remember to #spellitout.