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Thinking About Organ Donation – Gift of Life

During National Transplant Week, staff and patients at Manchester Royal Infirmary will be working hard to raise awareness of the success of transplantation and to encourage people to register to become donors. This year National Transplant Week runs from 18th – 24th July. Between 19th – 21st July The Caring for Kidneys Association, together with the Transplant Co-ordinators will be at Saint Chads in Oldham raising the awareness of organ/tissue donation and the importance of the donor register. Members of the Kidney Patients Association, together with staff from the hospital will be present at Victoria Train Station on 22nd July and at Piccadilly Railway station on 23rd July in Manchester to encourage passers-by to register to become a donor. There will also be display stands in the Out-patients Department at Manchester Royal Infirmary encouraging people to sign the donor register. Transplants are one of the most miraculous achievements of modern medicine and enable about 2,700 people to take on a new lease of life in the UK every year. Transplants are the best possible treatment for most people with organ failure. Kidney transplants are the most commonly performed. Transplants of the heart, liver, lungs are also regularly carried out. As medicine advances, other vital organs including the pancreas and small bowel are also being used in transplants. Tissues such as corneas, heart valves, skin and bone can also be donated. Sue Duncalf, Transplant Co-ordinator says: “The increasing effectiveness of transplantation means that many more patients can be considered for treatment in this way. However, there is a serious shortage of donors. At the moment there are over 5,000 people in the UK who are waiting for an organ transplant. For some people this means waiting, sometimes for years, and undergoing difficult and stressful treatment.”