Resize text Make the text bigger Make the text smaller

News - RD&E backs National Transplant Week, 9-15 July 2012

You are here: Home \ Trust \ News \ Jan - June 2012 \ National Transplant Week


National Transplant Week

RD&E backs the Pass It On campaign in National Transplant Week


The Royal Devon & Exeter hospital is backing this year’s Pass It On campaign during National Transplant Week (9-15th July 2012) encouraging discussion about organ donation with family and friends.


More than 7,500 people of all ages across the UK are waiting for an organ transplant and on average about 1,000 of them – three a day – will not survive whilst waiting for a transplant because not enough organs are being donated.


Most of us would be willing to take an organ if we needed one, but only a third of the population have signed up to the Organ Donor Register. The aim of the Pass It On campaign is to increase awareness of donation and encourage more people to register as donors.


Clinical Lead in the Renal Unit at the Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital, consultant Dr Richard D’Souza, said, “We currently have 450 renal patients on dialysis with 103 awaiting kidney transplants. Many people will not be able to have a kidney transplant, but for those who are suitable, the waiting list is growing larger and waiting time must seem interminable. Patients on dialysis have a greater risk of dying earlier and a transplant can therefore save a life. A transplant also offers the opportunity for an improved quality of life with greater social independence, and is not only beneficial for the individual but also represents value to the greater health economy.”


RD&E Specialist Nurse for Organ Donation, Tam Jackson said, “It’s really important for families to know your wishes. Evidence shows that over 90% of families will agree to donation if a loved one is registered and has discussed their wishes. This drops to around 40% if donation wishes aren’t known, so it’s vital to have those conversations now.  National Transplant Week gives us all the perfect opportunity to tell our loved ones just what we’d like to happen to our organs in the event of our death. It means much less pressure on families at a time when they will be making these heart-wrenching decisions.”


Retired doctor and altruistic donor, Dr Anthony Davies, aged 78, said, “As a young doctor I worked on a renal ward where there was no treatment available, even dialysis was not commonly used at that time. Many of our young patients didn’t survive.  I have since had a long career as a physiologist, but it was only when a doctor friend of mine donated one of his kidneys that it reminded me of my early experiences on that renal ward.


“It was at this point I decided that I wanted to donate a kidney and as a physiologist I knew that one healthy kidney was perfectly sufficient. In June 2011 I went through the operation with the support of my wife and family and the co-ordinating nurses in Exeter and Bristol who were all incredibly encouraging. I never felt any pressure to donate, this was a choice I made and felt passionately about.  I am now fitter and healthier than I have ever been and am looking forward to travelling to Palestine to teach for six weeks.”


Dr Davies’ kidney went to a lady in Portsmouth where, soon after the operation, she was able to resume normal kidney function improving her quality of life.


To register as a donor call the donor line on 0300 123 23 23 or log on to :  the more people who join the Register, the more lives could be saved.



Call 111 when its less than urgent