Belfast Telegraph

82% rise in number of organ donors

The number of people donating their organs upon death in Northern Ireland has almost doubled in the last five years, according to official figures.

The 82% increase in deceased organ donors in the region was announced as the NHS revealed it had achieved a target to increase the number by 50% across the UK as a whole.

In 2008 there were 22 donors in Northern Ireland while in the last 12 months there were 40.

Across the same period, the number of donors UK-wide rose by 50% to 1212.

There had been almost no increase across the UK over the previous decade.

The upsurge has been linked to developments in 2008 when the four UK administrations accepted recommendations made by an expert task force.

Stormont's health minister Edwin Poots welcomed the latest figures.

"The significant increase in deceased organ donors demonstrates the instinctive giving nature of the people of the Province and the efforts of those who have worked together across the health service and voluntary organisations to deliver this noteworthy achievement," he said.

"However, we must never be complacent and I would urge everyone to consider joining the organ donation register."

The statistics were released amid moves in Northern Ireland to introduce a presumed consent model of organ donation, whereby people would be considered to be donors unless they opted out.

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