A record number of organ transplants were carried out in 2013 despite having the same number of deceased donors as ten years previously. With 86 deceased organ donors in both 2013 and 2003 thanks to medical advancement in Ireland, 69 more organs were transplanted last year than a decade before. A total of 294 organs were transplanted in 2013 through living and deceased organ donation including a new source of donors, cardiac death donors.
Irish Kidney Association Chief Executive Mark Murphy said that “last year’s record figures of 294 transplants, which included 11 double transplant operations, was due to the generosity of families of 86 deceased donors. This increase in transplants can also be attributed to the consistent record breaking Living Donor Programme, at Beaumont Hospital, and a new source of deceased donors - cardiac death donors”.
Mr. Murphy was speaking at the national launch of Organ Donor Awareness Week 2014, by the Minister for Health, Dr.James Reilly, T.D., which was held at the Mansion House, Dublin 2 on Wednesday, 26th March.
Organ Donor Awareness Week, which is organised by the Irish Kidney Association and supported by the Irish Donor Network, runs from yesterday, Saturday 29th March until Saturday 5th April.
Attending the launch was ambassador for the campaign, broadcaster Mary Kennedy, who will feature in radio advertising and a campaign poster to promote organ donation. Also at the launch were students from Eureka Secondary School, winners of the 2013 Young Social Innovators, who have developed their winning project on organ donation, producing an education pack including a DVD which will be rolled out to secondary schools during Organ Donor Awareness Week. It is hoped that this tool will be the first step to achieving the topic of organ donation, recognised as a formal module, in the transition year curriculum.
The focus of Organ Donor Awareness Week is to raise awareness about the ongoing and ever increasing demand for transplantation, which relies entirely on the public for organ donation. Families need to talk amongst themselves and keep the reminders of their willingness to donate visible by carrying the organ donor card, downloading the Smartphone App and permitting Code 115 to be included on their driver’s license.
Organ Donor Awareness Week also serves as a fundraising exercise for the Irish Kidney Association. Throughout the Week ( 29th March- 5th April, 2014) the Association’s volunteers will be out on the streets, and in shopping centres throughout the country, selling ‘forget-me-not-flower’ emblems, brooches, pens and shopping trolley discs. All proceeds will go towards the Irish Kidney Association’s aid for patients on dialysis and those patients fortunate enough to have received a kidney transplant. The Irish Kidney Association charitable activities include the provision of a 13 double bedroom free accommodation facility, for patients and their families, in the grounds of Beaumont Hospital and holiday centres located in Tramore and Kerry, together with patient advocacy, advice, financial aid and rehabilitative, health promotion and provision of kidney patient information and education. All the IKA services are free to patients and their families.
Free information fact files, which accompany organ donor cards, are obtainable from the Irish Kidney Association and are available nationwide from pharmacies, GP surgeries and Citizen Information Offices etc.
Organ Donor Cards can also be obtained by phoning the Irish Kidney Association LoCall 1890 543639 or Freetext the word DONOR to 50050. Visit website www.ika.ie
It is now possible to store an organ donor card, the ‘ecard’ on Smart mobile phones. Simply search for ‘Donor ECard’ at the IPhone Store or Android Market Place.