Forth Valley residents sign up as organ donors six months after opt-out system launched
Over half of people in Forth Valley have recorded their organ and tissue donation decision.
The latest figures were released to coincide with Organ and Tissue Donation Week (September 20-26).
It marks the six-month anniversary of Scotland’s move to an opt out system of organ and tissue donation.
Just over 52% of locals have now registered their donation decision - 49.4% have agreed to be be a donor, with 2.9 % choosing to opt out.
The new system was introduced in March to save and improve lives, meaning that if people aged 16 and over haven’t opted out of donation, they will be considered a possible donor if they die in circumstances in which they could donate.
Under the opt out system everyone has a choice – to be a donor or opt out of donation – but it’s important to make that decision known. If people choose to do nothing, it will be assumed they have agreed to donate certain organs and tissue for transplantation.
Dr Helen Tyler, NHS Forth Valley consultant in anaesthetics and intensive care medicine, and clinical lead for organ donation, said: “It’s encouraging to see the number of people in the area who have recorded their donation decision.
“Organ and tissue donation remains a personal choice, but it’s important to make your decision known.
“You can record your decision at any time on the NHS Organ Donor Register. Sharing that decision with family is also important, as having that knowledge can make it easier for them to honour it.”
Maree Todd, Minister for Public Health, added: “We have made tremendous progress in increasing donation and transplantation rates in Scotland over the last decade, with the move to opt out part of a package of measures to reduce the number of people in Scotland waiting for a transplant at any one time.
“We are committed to continuing to raise awareness of the choices people have under the opt out system and the importance of making their donation decision known. The simplest way to do this is to record your decision on the NHS Organ Donor Register and share it with those close to you.”