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From The Heart – raising awareness of organ donation

Organ donation image

Last month, ITV dedicated a whole day of news, factual and current affairs coverage to raise awareness of organ donation, culminating in a one hour programme called From The Heart.

Granada Reports also decided to run a week-long series of news items and this is where we got involved.  The first part of this filming was with Agimol Pradeep, our transplant co-ordinator, who is involved, along with other members of staff, in promoting the organ donation service to people from Asian communities.  People from the Asian community currently have to wait three times longer for a kidney transplant because of a lack of suitable donors.  Currently, 19.2% of people on the waiting list here are from an Asian background, but only 1.7% of donors between 2005 and 2010 were Asian.  National figures show that people from the Asian community are three times more likely to require an organ transplant than the general population but only 2% of Asian people are on the NHS Organ Donor Register.

Agimol Pradeep said:  "I'm passionate about this because I've treated many kidney failure patients who count down every day with tears and anxiety as they wait for a donor.  I've been challenged a number of times by patients questioning the waiting game behind the transplant.  It's not an easy task to explain organ matching and the scarcity of donors from Asian backgrounds."

As well as raising awareness of this issue, Granada also filmed with our Renal Transplant team, producing a piece that showcased 'behind the scenes at the UK's biggest renal transplant unit' which proved to be very successful.  They filmed with a patient who received that all important call that an organ had become available and the transplant was filmed later the same day.  This film was broadcast on 15th February.

This year, National Transplant Week will be held from 8th - 14th July - for more details, go to www.transplantweek.co.uk.

Go to www.organdonation.nhs.uk for details of how to sign up to the NHS Organ Donor Register.