People in Greater Manchester urged to support organ donors as heart transplant waiting list up by 24% this Christmas

Date published: 22 December 2017

Greater Manchester residents are being urged to support organ donation as figures show the number of people spending Christmas on the national heart transplant waiting list is 24% up on last Christmas.

In Greater Manchester, there are currently 14 people on the heart transplant waiting list. 288 people from Greater Manchester are recorded on the UK Transplant Registry as ever having received a heart only transplant.

Nationally, there are currently 298 people on the waiting list for a heart transplant compared to 240 people last Christmas.

NHS Blood and Transplant is urging people to tell their families they wish to donate to help with the deadly shortage of organs.

For most patients on the heart transplant waiting list, all other medical options have been exhausted, and a donated organ is their only hope.

Since last Christmas Day, 31 people across the country have died while on the waiting list for a heart transplant.

The Department of Health recently launched a consultation into an ‘opt out’ system of organ donation for England. Under the proposed system, you would be a donor unless you do not want to donate.

Sally Johnson, NHS Blood and Transplant Director of Organ Donation and Transplantation said: “Hundreds of people are spending Christmas waiting for a call that might never come. Their families will be spending the festive period living with fear and uncertainty.

“We desperately need more people in Greater Manchester to agree to donation to help with the number of people waiting for hearts and organs of every kind.

“Whatever the outcome of the Opt Out consultation, if you support organ donation, please act today.

“Tell your family you want to donate and join the NHS Organ Donor Register.”

The 50th anniversary of the UK's first heart transplant is in May.

Heart transplants are still uncommon, with around 200 operations a year.

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