This organ donor awareness event, which is organised by the Council of Europe, aims to raise awareness and encourage social debate in European countries of the importance of organ donation. In Ireland, thanks to the generosity of 81 deceased donors and their families consent for donation, 214 organs were transplanted in 2008. Ireland's rate of transplantation of 2.64 organs per donor compares poorly with Austria and Switzerland whose rates are both over 3.6 organs per donor.
This highlights Ireland’s poor heart and lung transplant rates. The 2008 Council of Europes figures reveal that Ireland is in 13th place amongst other European countries for deceased organ donors, dropping from 7th position in 2007. This represents a deceased organ donor rate of 18.4 per million of population compared with 34 per million of population in Spain.
Almost 2,400 people in Ireland are enjoying extended life as a result of receiving organ transplants but there are currently over 600 people in Ireland awaiting life saving transplant operations.
The Irish Kidney Association is the organisation in Ireland which promotes and distributes the organ donor card. To highlight European Day, the Irish Kidney Association aims to encourage the general public to carry the organ donor card and to emphasize the importance for discussion with their next of kin about organ donation.
Organ donor cards can be obtained from the Irish Kidney Association by texting DONOR to 50050. Organ donor cards are also available in pharmacies around Ireland.
“You Have the Power to Save Lives – Sign Your Donor Card & Tell Your Loved Ones of Your Decision”
Register to be a donor in Ontario or Download Donor Cards from Trillium Gift of Life Network. NEW for Ontario: recycleMe.org - Learn The Ins & Outs Of Organ And Tissue Donation. Register Today! For other Canadian provinces click here
In Great Britain, register at NHS Organ Donor Register
In Australia, register at Australian Organ Donor Register
Your generosity can save up to eight lives with heart, kidneys, liver, lungs, pancreas and small intestine transplants. One tissue donor can help up to 100 other people by donating skin, corneas, bone, tendon, ligaments and heart valves
Has your life been saved by an organ transplant? "Pay it forward" and help spread the word about the need for organ donation - In the U.S. another person is added to the national transplant waiting list every 11 minutes and 18 people die each day waiting for an organ transplant.