This week from April 1st -8th marks the annual life- saving Organ Donor Awareness week. Saving people’s lives can be very challenging but rewarding for those working in healthcare. “I could never do your job in a million years,” is a common declaration that it used by the public when speaking to nurses and doctors. But there is one task that the public can do to help nurses and physicians. A task that is perhaps the most rewarding of all and leaving a legacy like no other. By simply registering to become an Organ Donor – You have the ability to save up to five other lives.
According to Organ Donation and Transplant Ireland, 280 Transplants took place in Ireland last year, a further 11 paediatric organ transplants and seven living donor transplants took place in the UK, organised by the HSE. According to Professor Jim Egan, Director of Organ and Transplant Ireland, “The key is to educate, educate and educate hospital staff”. 2016, marked the second highest yearly performance achieved with an average of 23 transplants a month. Organ transplantation occurs in three national transplant centres. Beaumont Hospital provides kidney transplantation and is the national centre for living kidney organ donation. Mater Hospital provides heart and lung transplantation. St Vincent’s Hospital provides liver and pancreas transplantation. Children are referred to the UK for heart, lung and liver transplants.
The importance of Organ Donation week is to highlight the message that families need to discuss organ donation and keep the reminders of their will to donate evident by carrying the Organ Donor card, downloading the Digital Donor card and permitting Code 115 to be included on their driver’s license for Irish patients.
Organ Donation 2017 is the story one woman’s journey before and after she received a double lung transplant. She then needed a kidney transplant as a result of the double lung. Professor Jim Egan, Director of Transplant and Organ Donation Ireland, speaks about how Ireland is making greater changes to improve Organ Donation awareness in healthcare. Lastly, voices from a heartbreaking family member of Alan Feeley (28) about his untimely death, his girlfriend also speaks about how donating his organs saved five lives, and how it has given them solace that his heart is still beating somewhere.