Organ donors increase almost 100%

The number of people who donated their organs after death has risen 96% in the last six years, according to new figures.

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A total of 106 donors and their families made the decision to donate organs in hospitals across Scotland last year, increasing from 54 in 2007.

The statistics, released by the Scottish Government, show 341 organ transplants were carried out from deceased donors in 2013/14 - a rise of 62% since 2007/8.

Public Health Minister Michael Matheson said: "First and foremost I want to offer my thanks to every donor and every donor's family in Scotland who have demonstrated such kindness and benevolence in the face of tragic and difficult circumstances.

"It is our responsibility to ensure that people's organ donation wishes are respected and to ensure that we make every donation count.

"Over the last few years we have made important strides in raising awareness of the importance of organ donation in Scotland and have been encouraging more and more people to make their wishes known. The staff working in the NHS do a fantastic job of ensuring that those wishes are respected and as a result more and more people are able to get the life-changing transplant they require."

Some 2,110,881 people living in Scotland have made their organ donation wishes known by joining the UK Organ Donor Register. The figure means 40% of the Scottish population have registered, compared to 32% of the UK average, ministers said.

Mr Matheson added: "It's important to remember, however, that around 600 people in Scotland are still waiting for an organ and we must be doing all we can to give them hope. I'd like to take this opportunity to encourage everyone to make their organ donation wishes known to their loved ones and to join the NHS Organ Donor Register."

Peter McGeehan, 64, from Dunfermline, suffered serious heart failure and was listed for a transplant in 2004. In the 10 years since a heart transplant, the father-of-two said he has thought about his donor every day.

He said: "I had to go through a huge amount of rehabilitation and there are still limitations to what I can do, but because of my donor, I've been to Europe on holiday, I've seen my grandson Harry being born, and I've watched my daughter get married.

"People take living for granted, but as I approach the 10-year anniversary I can honestly say there's never a day where I've woken up and haven't thought about my unnamed donor.

"People talk about unconditional love, and the one person who showed me that kind of love was my mother. That's exactly what my donor did for me. Without meeting me, or judging me, that person donated life to a stranger, and I couldn't be more grateful."

The Scottish Government aims to increase deceased donation rates to 26 per million of the population by 2020. This figure currently stands at 20 per million of population, up from 17.9 in 2012/13.

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