Organ donors signing up to help save lives

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More families are giving consent for loved ones’ organs to be donated after a campaign was launched to help people in need of transplants.

The family consent rate for organ donation at Leeds Teaching Hospitals rose from 60 per cent to 76 per cent last year, the latest figures show.

The number of people on the organ donor register in Yorkshire and Humber has also increased by almost 70,000 on last year. It follows the launch of Be a Hero, a campaign led by Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and backed by the Yorkshire Evening Post.

The figures, released as part of Organ Donation Week, show that around a third of the Yorkshire and Humber population are now on the register.

But health bosses have warned that more donors are needed after 34 people died while on the transplant waiting list last year.

Catherine Penrose, clinical lead for organ donation at Leeds Teaching Hospitals, said: “It’s really promising to see such positive progress being made in terms of organ donation in the region. Within the last year, sign-ups to the register have increased, family consent rate is on the rise and the number of organ donors and transplant surgeries has increased.”

Since the launch of Be A Hero, the number of people on the transplant waiting list in Yorkshire and Humber has fallen to 483 from 800 in 2015.

In Leeds, 39 people donated 120 organs after death last year, up from 28 people in 2016/17.

But campaigners are urging more people to discuss their wishes for after they die with family members who have the final say over organ donation.

Dr Penrose added: “One person can to save up to nine lives through donation and increasing family consent is a vital step in transforming and saving the lives of those on the 483-person waiting list in Yorkshire”.

On Wednesday a live body art installation at Leeds General Infirmary was held to show the importance of organ donation.