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Dundee

Ronnie’s donor legacy

March 9 2013

NHS TAYSIDE has reached an organ donation high with 44% of the population now signed up to the NHS Organ Donor Register. Having considerably boosted numbers from 33.1% five years ago, the latest statistics signify a record achievement for the health board. In Fife, 39% of people have signed the register and in Forth Valley the figure is 37%. The recent death of celebrated Dundee transplant patient Ronnie McIntosh has been cited as the reason for the increase in Tayside. Donor registrations from people with Dundee addresses soared in the days after the 62-year-old Olympic torch carrier’s funeral at the crematorium. The packed gathering of mourners were told the greatest tribute they could pay to Ronnie would be for them to register as organ donors. Figures from the NHS Blood and Transplant unit showed that the number of registrations more than doubled from the DD postcode area in the three weeks after his funeral. The new figures come as a national tour visits the area to encourage more people from Tayside to have a chat about organ donation and join the NHS Organ Donor Register. The tour visited Asda in Perth yesterday and will be at Tesco Kingsway in Dundee today to highlight the importance of speaking about organ donation with family and loved ones. The 40-date tour is part of the national campaign, which highlights how the seven words ‘I’d like to be an organ donor’ can save up to seven lives. NHS Tayside lead clinician for organ donation, Dr Stephen Cole, who is also chairman of the Tayside Donation Committee, said, “Most of us would accept a donated organ if we needed one, so it’s worth taking the time to have a chat and make your views known by joining the NHS Organ Donor Register.” To join the register visit organdonationscotland.org or text LIFE to 61611. It only takes a few minutes but could mean the difference between life and death for people waiting for a transplant.

Dundee

‘Ronnie McIntosh factor’ could explain Dundee organ donor rise

February 7 2013

The death of celebrated kidney transplant patient Ronnie McIntosh seems to have encouraged more Dundee people to sign the organ donor register. Donor registrations from people with Dundee addresses soared in the days after the 62-year-old Olympic torch carrier’s funeral at the crematorium. Humanist celebrant Dominic Watson told the packed gathering of mourners the greatest tribute they could pay to Ronnie would be for them to register as organ donors. Figures provided to The Courier by the NHS Blood and Transplant unit suggests they have answered that call. In the three weeks before Ronnie’s funeral on January 10, the numbers of new registrations from the DD1 to DD5 postcode area were 10, eight and five. In the week of Ronnie’s funeral and in each the two weeks afterwards 19 people registered a total of 57 across the three weeks. The Ronnie McIntosh factor has been recognised by his widow Cecilia and by officials in the NHS nationally and locally. Mrs McIntosh said last night: “This is fantastic news. “Ronnie was such a strong supporter of organ donation it gave him the chance of life. He encouraged people to become organ donors and supported organ donor events whenever he could. “The message at his funeral seems to have reached many people. “I’ve heard so many stories about people especially young people deciding to become organ donors because of Ronnie, and it’s great to know that according to these figures this seems to be happening. “I’m really proud that so many people have done this because, it would seem, because of Ronnie.” Lesley Logan, regional manager of the organ donation service for Scotland and the Northern area for NHS Blood and Transplant, said: “It is heart-warming to know that the gift of organ donation meant that Ronnie McIntosh could go on to accomplish so much in his life. “His journey will continue to be an inspiration to all those currently waiting for life-saving transplants. It is perhaps just as incredible to know that even after his death, he is still motivating people to discuss organ donation with their loved ones. “With three people dying every day waiting for an organ, every single person signing up to the NHS organ donor register has the potential to make a huge difference.” Tayside has the second highest rate of organ donors north of the border with 43.5% of the population signing the organ donor register, a rate bettered only by Lothian (47.8%) the Scottish average is 40.4%. For more on this story see Thursday’s Courier or try our digital edition.

Fife

Transplant patients need everybody says campaign

July 18 2016

A Fife man who had a double lung transplant is backing an organ donor register campaign. A television advertising campaign featuring transplant recipients who have stripped off has been launched underlining the importance of organ donation. The We Need Everybody campaign has been backed by Fifers who have had and are awaiting life-saving transplants. Figures show that every day in the UK someone dies waiting for an organ transplant and 540 people in Scotland are waiting. The NHS organ donor register allows people to sign up to give their organs if they die in circumstances in which they can be transplanted to another person. The face of the campaign is Gordon Hutchison, 26, of East Kilbride, who received a transplant at the age of 13 after being born with a congenital heart defect. John Coyle, 47, of Cowdenbeath, has given his support to the call for more people to join the register. He said: “I don’t think people realise what organ donation means if they don’t know anyone who has been touched by it. “That’s why I want to back the campaign and help raise awareness.” John had just months to live when he underwent a double lung transplant four years ago. He said: “It’s up to each individual but I feel that if you would accept an organ, then you should be willing to give one.” Currently 43% of Scotland’s population is on the register but only 1 in 100 death in the country happen in circumstances where organs can be donated, making growing the register vital. Increasing registrations is vital, as less than one per cent of deaths in Scotland happen in circumstances where the person is actually able to donate their organs. Aileen Campbell, minister for public health and sport, said: “The reality is that there are more people waiting for an organ transplant than there are suitable donors. “Last year in Scotland 35 people died waiting on a vital organ transplant, and for the 540 people currently listed for transplant, the wait goes on. “There are many reasons people haven’t joined the register, such as thinking they’re too old, no one would want their organs, or they’ve simply not got round to it. “This campaign is about driving home that everyone has it in them to save a life – like Gordon’s.” To join the NHS organ donor register visit weneedeverybody.org.

Waiting list for heart transplants almost trebled in 10 years, says charity

December 3 2017

The waiting list for a heart transplant has nearly trebled in a decade, the British Heart Foundation has revealed as it pleads for people listed as donors to discuss their decision with loved ones. NHS Blood and Transplant service figures show the number of people on the waiting list for a new heart in the UK has increased by 162% since 2008. The British Heart Foundation (BHF) is encouraging potential donors to make their wishes known to their next of kin, saying while most people support it many families refuse donations because they are unsure of their loved one’s wishes. Exactly fifty years ago, at 6.13am on 3 December 1967, history was made with the first successful human heart transplanthttps://t.co/kWrZ7kYVJv pic.twitter.com/SnjsDe05GU— Science Museum (@sciencemuseum) December 3, 2017 The campaign marks the 50th anniversary of the world’s first heart transplant. On December 3 1967, South African cardiac surgeon Christiaan Barnard transplanted the heart of a woman who died following a car accident to a grocer suffering from heart disease. The recipient survived 18 days but later succumbed to pneumonia due to the immuno-suppressant drugs he was taking. Today, such transplants are routine. Patients like Vicky Small of Bournemouth desperately want to get the surgery – but the long waiting list sets her in a race against time. This is how Jim spent his 22nd birthday. He has a heart pump and needs a transplant. If you could donate and save his life, would you? Join the Organ Donor Register at https://t.co/iYEIbJTGzs pic.twitter.com/86RmCsGK5n— NHS Organ Donation???? (@NHSOrganDonor) December 3, 2017 The 43-year-old, who has been diagnosed with restrictive cardiomyopathy, feared she would not get a new heart due to the waiting list. “It’s so sad. And it’s also really frightening to think that I might never be lucky enough to receive a new heart because people are not having these uncomfortable, but vital, conversations with their loved ones. “I am in heart failure and I really need a new heart. Please, let your loved ones know if you want to donate your organs. It’s incredibly important you ‘have the chat’ – before it’s too late.” Thousands of patients have been saved thanks to a heart transplant, but there are still challenges. Read this article to find out how we’re meeting them: https://t.co/GF5i6mduPg pic.twitter.com/IDA8hqSWei— BHF (@TheBHF) December 3, 2017 The BHF said many people believed all they had to do to become an organ donor after death was to join the NHS register or carry their donor card – yet they may not know their families are still entitled to bar the procedure. Despite surveys showing eight in 10 of all adults in England saying they support organ donation, last year the NHS asked 3,144 families to agree to it, but 1,172 of them declined. NHS organ donation and transplantation associate director Professor John Forsyth said around 200 people received heart transplants in the UK annually – the waiting list numbers increased partly due to an ageing population and the increasing risk of heart disease. “In the last 10 years, with a huge amount of work from many people both within the NHS and outside of the NHS, the number of people donating their organs in death has reached the record number of 1,413,” Prof Forsyth said. Fifty years ago today, history was made with the first human heart transplant. Check out our interactive timeline to learn how BHF-research was involved in the pioneering procedure: https://t.co/QhmZNBvxRn— BHF (@TheBHF) December 3, 2017 “There is still a severe shortage of donated organs of all kinds and far too many people die without ever receiving the transplant they need. Organ donation saves lives and we urge people to join the NHS Organ Donor Register and talk to their families about their decision.” BHF chief executive Simon Gillespie said the surgery once considered “laughably risky” had developed over the last 50 years to become so advanced that hundreds of successful heart transplants are carried out in the UK every year. “But this is not enough. We need to give those waiting for a new heart the best chance of actually receiving a healthy organ. This will only happen if we start the conversations with our loved ones so that, if the situation arises, they will be able to honour our wishes and save a life.” (function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By PA Reporters'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '982622d9-b948-4b68-8bdd-5fe1b93908af'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:news,paservice:news:uk'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story-enriched'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', null); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Waiting list for heart transplants almost trebled in 10 years, says charity'});

Opt-out organ donation system moves closer as Hunt urges ‘open conversation’

December 12 2017

Families should overcome the “fatal reluctance” to talk about organ donation, the Health Secretary urged as he launched a consultation into plans for an opt-out system. Jeremy Hunt said people need to have an open conversation and make their wishes clear to relatives in order to save the lives of patients waiting for a transplant. Prime Minister Theresa May announced in October that the Government will shift towards an organ donation system in England which presumes consent. #Organdonation – we'll consult on opt-out system of organ donation in England by end of 2017 https://t.co/wSTR9uL5AQ #DHConsultation pic.twitter.com/6eepsnMwDD— Department of Health (@DHgovuk) October 4, 2017 Mr Hunt said: “Every day three people die for want of a transplant, which is why our historic plans to transform the way organ donation works are so important. “We want as many people as possible to have their say as we shape the new opt-out process. “But as well as changing the law, we also need to change the conversation – it can be a difficult subject to broach, but overcoming this fatal reluctance to talk openly about our wishes is key to saving many more lives in the future.” So far this year a remarkable, inspirational 986 organ donors have allowed 2545 life saving organ transplants to take place. Please have the donation conversation with loved ones and join @NHSOrganDonor to say #YesIDonate— Anthony Clarkson (@AJClarksonNHS) December 1, 2017 Around 6,500 people are currently waiting for a transplant in the UK, but in the past year 1,100 families decided not to allow organ donation because they were unsure or did not know whether their relatives would have wanted to donate, according to NHS Blood and Transplant. While 80% of people say they would be willing to donate their organs, only 36% are officially registered and just half of adults on the register have discussed their wishes with a family member, the Department for Health said. The consultation, launched on Tuesday, will examine issues including how much say a family should have over a person’s decision to donate their organs, how different groups will be affected by the new system and when exemptions to “opt-out” might be needed. Join the Organ Donor Register and share your decision with your family this #Christmas. One day you could give someone the ultimate gift. https://t.co/KRpbDIkfrz pic.twitter.com/uQa1WvAS88— NHS Organ Donation???? (@NHSOrganDonor) December 11, 2017 Millie Banerjee, chairwoman of NHS Blood and Transplant, said: “We support any initiative which leads to more organ donors and more lives being saved. “We hope the consultation starts a national conversation about organ donation. If you want to donate, please tell your family now.” Simon Gillespie, chief executive of the British Heart Foundation, said: “Introducing an opt-out system in England will mean more people get the life-saving heart transplant they desperately need. “In the meantime, it’s still important for all of us to have conversations with our loved ones about organ donation so our wishes can be met if the worst should happen.” The consultation, which is available online, will close on March 6. (function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By PA Reporters'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '6192ab5e-9a84-4758-9681-03666d56678f'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:news,paservice:news:uk'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story-enriched'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', null); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Opt-out organ donation system moves closer as Hunt urges u2018open conversationu2019'});

Dundee

‘Ronnie McIntosh factor’ may lead to donor boom

January 18 2013

NHS TAYSIDE is bracing itself for a surge in organ donor registrations in tribute to renowned Dundee kidney transplant patient Ronnie McIntosh, donations that could make it the top donor region in Scotland. The area has the second-highest rate of organ donors north of the border and an appeal made at the funeral of the popular 62-year-old last week could send the figure soaring higher. Latest figures show 43.5% of the Tayside population (175,271 people) have signed the organ donor register, an increase of 1.5% in a year and a rate bettered only by Lothian (47.8%). The Scottish average is 40.4%. Much of Tayside’s latest increase in donors has been attributed to the publicity generated for the cause by Ronnie McIntosh, the double amputee whose kidney transplant gave him a new lease of life and inspired him to carry the Olympic torch through Dundee last June. At Dundee Crematorium last Thursday, humanist celebrant Dominick Watson told the packed gathering of mourners the greatest tribute they could pay to Ronnie would be for them to register as organ donors. He was repeating the message of Ronnie himself in an interview with The Courier published three days before his death. Dr Stephen Cole, an intensive care consultant at Ninewells Hospital and chairman of the NHS Tayside organ donation committee, said there could be a “Ronnie McIntosh factor” in further boosting donor numbers in the area. “All the publicity generated by a man who was such a pillar of the community and so popular can only help to further raise the profile of organ donations in Tayside,” he said. Dr Cole said his committee has been successful in improving the rate of organ donation and stressed to people the importance of signing as organ donors so their wishes can be taken into account when they die. He continued: “Unfortunately, part of my job is, sadly, to break bad news to families of patients who are in intensive care and to tell them that, despite our best efforts, their loved ones are not going to survive. “Some of these patients could go on the organ donor register but we have to ask their families what they would want to happen. “The families are already coping with the very difficult situation that they will lose their loved ones and we are asking them to make a difficult decision on top of their bad news.” Dr Cole said he and his colleagues were pleased so many people in Tayside have registered as donors, as this made it easier to retrieve organs and helped families deal with the difficulties of losing loved ones. He hoped further publicity in the form of the Ronnie McIntosh factor would raise the number of donations still higher. Donor numbers in Tayside will be checked again next month. Ronnie’s widow Cecilia said: “This is marvellous news that so many people are signing the register and it seems a lot of them are doing this because of Ronnie. “Ronnie was running out of chances to live when he got the replacement kidney. It gave him such a boost and it meant everything to him. “I remember asking him what he wanted for Christmas and he said he didn’t want anything as he’d already got the best present ever the replacement kidney. “We were overwhelmed by people’s love and kindness at the funeral. “It’s so very touching to know so many people thought so much of him. “If a lot of people are signing up as organ donors because of Ronnie, then that is the best tribute to him there could be. Ronnie would love that.” Dundee’s Caird Park athletics stadium is now to be renamed the Ronnie McIntosh Stadium in memory of the disabled athlete and member of the Hawkhill Harriers. People can join when registering for a driving licence, applying for a Boots Advantage card, registering at a GP surgery or registering for a European Health Insurance card. Leaflets are also displayed in surgeries, libraries, hospitals and pharmacies. aargo@thecourier.co.uk

Perth & Kinross

Appeal for people to sign up to organ donor register

September 5 2016

The people of Perth and Kinross are being asked to play their part in saving lives. NHS Tayside is highlighting its support for this week’s Organ Donation Week with information stands at Perth Royal Infirmary. The theme for this year’s campaign is “We need everybody” which encourages everyone to sign up to the organ donor register regardless of their ethnicity, body shape, size or medical history. “There are around 540 people waiting for an organ transplant in Scotland but there are not enough organs to meet these needs and sadly someone dies every day whilst waiting for an organ,” said Lynne Malley, specialist nurse organ donation with NHS Tayside. “One donor can save or transform up to nine lives so we really need everybody to sign the register. It takes two minutes but could literally save lives. “43.9% of people in Tayside are signed up to the organ donor register, which is slightly above the Scottish average, but we need more people to register and talk about it so that families can support their last known wishes to donate. “No one wants to have to make the decision to allow their relative to become a donor, so by sharing these wishes, you make that decision for them. “Lots of people think they would be unsuitable to donate organs and tissues because of medical history or lifestyle choices but each potential donor is individually assessed and we need people from all ethnicities and backgrounds to register.” During Organ Donation Week there will be information stands at Ninewells and Perth Royal Infirmary until Friday to raise awareness of just how successful transplants are and how crucial it is that people discuss their wishes. Members of local organ donation charity, Revival, will also be on hand for a chat. To register to be a donor go to www.weneedeverybody.org

Scotland

NHS Tayside reports record Organ Donor Register sign-ups

April 21 2012

The number of people in Tayside offering to donate their potentially life-saving organs to help those requiring liver, kidney or heart transplants has reached a record high. According to NHS Tayside, almost half of the region’s population (42%) have now signed up to the Organ Donor Register. The health board says the rise of 12,600 people (8%) compared to last year’s figure means almost 170,000 out of the overall Tayside population of 402,600 are on the register. The latest figure shows Tayside’s contribution is well above the national average and is the second highest percentage of sign-ups in the country. It is the equivalent of 169,300 people out of the total Tayside population and comes just days after it was announced by the Scottish Government that the number of people on the NHS Organ Donor Register in Scotland has reached a record high of more than two million. NHS Tayside lead clinician for organ donation Dr Stephen Cole said the figures are ”hugely encouraging and demonstrate people in Tayside’s commitment to offering the gift of life to someone in need.” He added: ”It is easy to forget just how many people are waiting on life-saving transplants and how signing up to the organ donor register can help to save someone else once you are gone. ”Signing up to the organ donor register can truly transform people’s lives and I would encourage everyone to take two minutes and join today.” The figures show that as of March 31, 38.8% of the Scottish population have signed up. The NHS says more than 9,000 people in the UK need an organ transplant that could save or dramatically improve their life. One donor can save or transform up to nine lives and many more can be helped through the donation of tissues. Anyone over 12 can join the register by visiting organdonation.nhs.uk or by calling 0300 123 23 23. You can also text LIFE to 61611. Photo by Clive Gee/PA Wire

Scotland

Campaign encourages more to sign up to NHS Organ Donor Register

December 3 2012

More than 140 people in Tayside have signed up to the NHS Organ Donor Register in just three days as part of a national campaign. Staff were on hand at events in Dundee, Perth and Forfar to answer questions on organ donation and sign up those wishing to join the two million Scots who have already joined the register. The tour is part of the campaign, which highlights how the seven words ”I’d like to be an organ donor” can save up to seven lives. Around 600 Scots are waiting on a transplant. To date, 43% of people living in the NHS Tayside Health Board region have expressed their wishes by adding their name to the register, higher than the Scottish average of over 40%. The campaign is calling for more people to think about organ donation and make their wishes known. NHS Tayside lead clinician for organ donation Dr Stephen Cole said: ”While people in Tayside have shown their commitment to organ donation more still needs to be done. ”I would urge everyone to think about organ donation today and ensure that their loved ones know what their wishes would be should the worst happen.” The NHS Organ Donor Register can be joined at organdonationscotland.org or by texting LIFE to 61611.

Scotland

National Transplant Week we all have it in us to save lives

September 8 2015

As National Transplant Week begins NHS Tayside has called on people to save a life. This year’s campaign is encouraging people to let their loved ones know their wishes about donating their organs. Currently 41.6% of the Tayside population is signed up to the NHS Organ Donor Register, which is just above the Scottish average of 41%. The generosity of organ donors changed the lives of 378 people in Scotland last year, yet people died waiting for a transplant. Irene Russell, NHS Tayside transplant coordinator, said: “It is important to discuss your wishes with your loved ones. They are twice as likely to say yes if you talk to them first. “One donor can save or transform up to nine lives and many more can be helped through the donation of tissues. “Anyone can register on the Organ Donor Register age isn’t always a barrier to being an organ or tissue donor and neither are most medical conditions.” During this week there will be information stands at Ninewells and PRI to raise awareness of just how successful transplants are and how crucial it is that people discuss their wishes. Launching the awareness week at Ninewells, Doug Cross, NHS Tayside vice-chairman, said: “Even if you already carry a donor card I would encourage you to join the Organ Donor Register in order to make a lasting record of your wishes. “There is no doubt that this most selfless gift can give an exceptional amount of comfort to those left behind following the death of a loved one,” he said. To register call Organ Donor Line on 0300 123 23 23 or visit www.organdonation.co.uk.

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