Almost 250,000 people in the north-east are signed up to be organ donors.
This week marks national Organ Donation Week, which aims to raise awareness of the register, and highlights the importance of ensuring that loved ones know your wishes following your death.
According to figures held by NHS Blood and Transplant, at the beginning of August, 109,442 people living in Aberdeen City and 134,845 in Aberdeenshire were signed up to the UK Organ Donor Register – a total of 244,287.
Around 2.6 million people in Scotland are registered, which is 48% of the population.
In 2018/19, a total of 440 people in Scotland received a transplant through surgery.
However, 47 people in Scotland sadly died while waiting for a transplant.
At the beginning of August, there were 582 people on the transplant waiting list.
Public Health Minister Joe FitzPatrick said: “Organ and tissue donation can be a life-changing gift.
“Evidence shows that opt-out systems can make a difference as part of a wider package of measures, and this act provides further opportunities to both save and improve lives.
“In Scotland, there are an average of more than 500 people waiting for an organ transplant at any one time.
“The opt-out system will be introduced in Autumn 2020 but people don’t need to wait until then to make a choice about donation.
“I would encourage people to make a decision about donation, record this on the NHS Organ Donor Register and discuss it with their family.”
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The campaign to encourage people to donate organs after their death is run by the Scottish Government.
It emphasizes that everyone is needed, whether they think their organs will be accepted or not.
Joining it makes it easier for healthcare professionals to establish the person’s decision, and knowing that organ donation is what a person wanted can make the decision easier for families dealing with such a difficult time.
Statistics have shown that families who know the wishes of their loved ones are twice as likely to agree to donating organs.
Stuart Munro, 44, from Westhill, had a kidney transplant 12 years ago.
After spending four and a half years on dialysis, he was initially diagnosed with IgA nephropathy in his 20s.
The diagnosis was made following a routine check-up in his former offshore job.
He said: “I was on dialysis for four-and-a-half years waiting for a transplant.
“Just before my brother’s wedding I was rushed into hospital in Edinburgh, and I was there for two weeks.
“I missed my brother’s wedding. I was 32 years old.
“My transplant was from a cadaveric donor. I’ve been keeping well since, it’s allowed me to be able to do stuff with my kids that I wouldn’t have been able to do on dialysis.
“I had a tube coming out my stomach, I couldn’t really do things like go on holiday.”
Stuart encouraged as many people as possible to consider signing up to be a donor after death.
He added: “It’s no use to you if you’re dead.
“You don’t know how much it affects someone until someone in your family needs it.
“It was something I’d never thought about until it affected me.
“It’s definitely something I think people should speak about.”
One donor can save up to nine lives. Organs including hearts, livers and kidneys are always needed.
People keen to donate, or who are already on the register, are encouraged to share their choice with their family, so that it will make it easier for loved ones to honour the decision.
Gift of life
For more information, and to join the register, visit organdonationscotland.org or call 0300 123 23 23.
Those who want to opt out can register their wishes on the NHS Organ Donor Register.
However, if they prefer not to, they can also make a declaration in writing and should also tell their family about it so they know.
In the case that a person passes away where tissue or organ donation is possible, their family will be asked about their views.