Health officials ask bereaved parents to donate their children’s organs amid warning over drop in donors
- Health Secretary Matt Hancock backing a new NHS campaign for more donors
- There are 177 children on the transplant list after 17 died waiting for one in 2018
- Young children often need organs that match their size and are hard to find
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said it was ‘heartbreaking that hundreds of children and babies are waiting for an organ’
Bereaved parents were asked last night to consider donating their children’s organs after it emerged the rate had not gone up significantly in years.
Donations from adults have risen by a fifth since 2004, but the total from children has remained static.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said it was ‘heartbreaking that hundreds of children and babies are waiting for an organ’.
Mr Hancock, who is backing a new NHS campaign to boost the donation figures from under-18s, spoke after it emerged that only half of families approached following the death of a child consent to their organs being used.
There are 177 children on the transplant list after 17 died waiting for one in 2018.
Organs from 57 children resulted in 200 transplant operations last year, but this is barely up on the 55 child donors in 2014.
Young children often need organs that match their size, making it hard to find suitable hearts for infants and babies.
Mr Hancock said: ‘I understand how difficult it is to contemplate losing a child, let alone think about what happens afterwards. But we must not shy away from this potentially life-saving conversation.’
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