Make joining register your New Year resolution

Sign up for the Organ Donor Register
Sign up for the Organ Donor Register
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The Scottish Govern­ment wants more people to become organ donors in 2013.

Forty per cent of the Scottish population is currently on the NHS Organ Donor Register – the highest percentage in the UK.

But with 600 Scots currently waiting for life-saving transplants the more people who make their organs available the better.

Last October the Scottish Government launched a campaign designed to get people talking seriously about organ donation.

Scotland’s Public Health Minister Michael Matheson, who is also a Falkirk MSP, is backing the recruitment drive and highlighted the importance of signing up for the register – a move which can often result in saving someone’s life.

He said: “I don’t think there is a better New Year’s resolution than to become a potential life saver by joining the NHS Organ Donor Register.

“We know the festive season is an important time for people to spend with family and friends, but I want people to spare a thought for the Scots who are waiting for an organ.

“They can only hope they will be able to spend another Christmas and New Year with their loved ones.”

Being able to take an organ from one person and give it to another is one of the real miracles of modern medicine. Over the years, more kinds of transplant have become possible.

Now, as well as kidneys, transplants are regularly carried out on the heart, liver, lungs, pancreas and small bowel. As well as this, tissue such as eyes, heart valves, skin, bone and tendons can also be donated and transplanted.

As transplantation techniques and technology have improved, more and more patients can be considered for treatment.

However, transplants depend on the generosity of donors and their families, and there is still a serious shortage of donor organs.

Mr Matheson added: “Simply letting your loved ones know your wishes about organ donation could make all the difference to those people who are desperately waiting for a transplant.”

The website www.organdonationscotland.org has more more information about how to register.