Offaly's hospital group promotes conversation around donation ahead of Donor Awareness Week

Justin Kelly

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Justin Kelly

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justin.kelly@iconicnews.ie

Organ donation awareness week to take place next month

Ahead of Organ Donor Awareness Week 2017 (April 1-8), the Dublin Midlands Hospital Group, which includes Midland Regional Hospital Tullamore, is reminding the Irish public to have the important family discussion about their wishes concerning deceased organ donation.

In total, there were 280 organ transplants carried out during 2016.  This marks the second highest yearly performance achieved, with an average rate of 23 transplants per month.  The organ transplant figures for 2016 were: 172 kidney transplants at National Renal Transplant service, Beaumont Hospital; 58 liver transplants at National Liver transplant service, St Vincent’s University Hospital; 35 lung transplants and 15 heart transplants at the National Heart lung transplant service at the Mater Misericordiae University Hospital.

SEE ALSO: Local man risked his own life to save brother with transplant

There are three transplant centres in Ireland; the Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, St. Vincent’s University Hospital and Beaumont Hospital. St Vincent’s University Hospital (SVUH) re-commences with pancreatic transplants when suitable donor/recipient matches occur this year, in addition to carrying out liver transplants.

Speaking ahead of Organ Donation Week, Prof Jim Egan, Director of Organ Donation and Transplant Ireland, said: “Every year Organ Donation Week creates huge public awareness which is an essential part of ensuring that a sustainable transplant programme can survive and thrive."

SEE ALSO: Mother makes desperate donor appeal for dying Offaly boy

"I want to thank the 77 families whose courage and generosity in donating organs saved the lives of 280 people last year. Also, I would like to thank the staff of the National Organ Procurement Service, the Intensive Care Units and Theatres, as well as the nurses and all staff in hospitals nationwide for their commitment. They play a key role in the donation process,” he added. 

Deirdre Coffey is Organ Donor Nurse Manager at St James’s Hospital and group lead for the Dublin Midlands Hospital Group. She said: “Organ Donor Awareness Week is very important in highlighting the issue of organ donation. It is only through the generosity of the Irish public that patients can receive the life-saving treatment of an organ transplant. I would encourage people to use this week to talk to their families about organ donation and their wishes; these important discussions could help inform your family when making organ donation decisions on your behalf, should the need arise. By making your wishes clear during Organ Donor Awareness Week, you could one day give the gift of life to someone in need.”

The Irish Kidney Association’s Organ Donor Awareness Week 2017 takes place from April 1-8. 

For more information you can visit the Irish Kidney Association's website at www.ika.ie. Organ Donor Cards can also be obtained by phoning the Irish Kidney Association on LoCall 1890 543639 or sending a free text containing the word DONOR to 50050.