Organ donors needed urgently

By Drum Digital
23 September 2014

One person could save seven lives by donating heart, lungs, two kidneys, the liver, and pancreas. Tissues such as the cornea and skin could also be donated.

The Organ Donor Foundation on Tuesday made an urgent plea for people to sign up as organ donors.

"We encourage people to say yes to organ donations, and to sign up as organ donors," the foundation's Jooste Vermeulen told reporters in Johannesburg.

He said there was an escalating crisis and the country urgently needed referrals to address the potentially devastating problem.

Vermeulen said the foundation launched the "Say yes" campaign during organ donor month. The campaign was two-fold.

Donor families had to be informed of their decision so they could "say yes" on behalf of the donor.

The second aspect of the campaign was to educate medical professionals.

"We ask doctors to say yes to organ referrals. Many organ referrals are lost in ICU," Vermeulen said.

Over 4300 South Africans were awaiting an organ transplant. However, less than 600 transplants were performed each year.

Source: Sapa

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