CORK University Hospital (CUH) has launched its #7LivesSaved organ donor public awareness campaign in support of Ireland’s National Organ Donation Awareness week.
The visual campaign — which includes images of transplant recipients and the healthcare teams that work on organ donation — aims to encourage people of all ages to have a conversation about organ donation and share their wishes with family and friends.
More than 600 people are waiting for life-changing transplants in Ireland but there is an acute shortage of organs available for transplant.
People are six times more likely to need a transplant for treatment of end-stage organ failure than they are to become a donor, making it critical to ensure every circumstance where donation is possible is explored with patients’ families in the hospital setting.
The CUH awareness campaign features current and former patients of the hospital who received transplants, healthcare team colleagues who have benefitted from donation, and members of staff who support organ donation through their work in the hospital.
It is hoped to extend the campaign, which is supported by the HSE’s Organ Donation and Transplant Ireland, to all acute hospitals in Ireland to raise awareness among both the general public and healthcare staff.
“Organ donation requires the support of a very dedicated team in the hospital from the emergency department, the intensive care unit, and operating theatre,” said Dr Adrian Murphy, consultant in emergency medicine at CUH and clinical lead for organ donation for South/South-West Hospital Group.
“We are very grateful for the huge support within the hospital and we remember those donors and their families who selflessly give people the priceless gift of life. We are very humbled that these families can put the interests of others ahead of their own at a time of great personal loss.
“It is a great privilege to care for these families and support them through this difficult time.”
Organ donor nurse manager at South/South-West Hospital Group Breda Doyle said there are organ donation teams throughout the group’s hospitals supporting families and hospital teams to ensure organ donation was considered and raised with families where appropriate.
“These teams consist of an organ donation nurse manager and a consultant clinical lead in organ donation. The donation team work together with the extended healthcare team to provide patient- and family-focussed care with the aim of supporting families in difficult circumstances in considering organ donation and helping to ensure it is facilitated where possible,” she said.