Could you be a donor?

Every year 1,000 people die waiting for a transplant. However, only 4% of people regularly give blood, and only 31% of us have joined the Organ Donor Register.

We can do something to make a difference. It only takes a few minutes to join the NHS Organ Donor Register, and it doesn't take long to give blood: a small price to pay for the gift of life.

Give blood

Watch a video of people who've received organs and the relatives of donors explaining what organ donation meant to them.

Giving blood is easy. You can do it up to three times a year. It takes no longer than an hour per session, and it can be arranged entirely at your convenience. Your blood will be used to help a variety of patients, such as a mother in the delivery room, a child with leukaemia, a burns victim or people with conditions that require regular blood transfusions.

Go to the National Blood Service website to search for your nearest blood donor session. For more information about what the process involves and who it can help, read Blood donation.

The NHS Organ Donor Register

In the UK, consent is required before organs can be donated. A person can give their consent for example by joining the NHS Organ Donor Register or by discussing their wishes with loved ones. Alternatively, a person’s organs can be donated if consent is obtained after their death from an authorised person, such as a relative or friend.

Many of us have heard of donor cards. The NHS Organ Donor Register is the same in principle but is a failsafe way of ensuring your wishes are made clear. A donor card can be lost or forgotten about, but joining the register will mean there's a permanent record of your wishes that doctors can check in the event of your death. You can remove yourself from the register at any time, and you can specify what you're willing to donate.

Read more about organ donation.

The reality of donation

People have many questions about donation. Perhaps you want to be a donor but you're worried about what this involves. Donation: ethics and worries provides the answers to many common questions.

Visit the National Blood Service and Organ donation websites for more about the enormous impact that donation can have on someone’s life.

Video: organ donation

People who've received organs and the relatives of donors explain what organ donation meant to them.

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Next review due:

Page last reviewed: 16/04/2013

Next review due: 16/04/2015

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