Nearly four out of every six students surveyed in NUI Galway have not discussed the matter of organ donation with their next of kin nor have they signed the back of their driving licence or a donor card.
The main reasons are the lack of information and the lack of publicity given to such an important issue within colleges. As a result, people who badly need these organs to improve their quality of life and their life expectancy are losing out.
One out of every three of the students who said no to organ donation, stated that they didn’t know how to go about it nor did they know where to get a donor card. Other students said that they did not want to do it nor had they considered it.
On the other hand, just over three out of every six students surveyed said they believe that it is most important to consider organising this.
“If you don’t need them, you may as well give them to someone else who does need them,” said to one female student from NUI Galway. Another student stated; “I think that everybody should have one [a donor card]… It’s a chance to give somebody else a chance.”
According to the Irish Kidney Association “you are three times more likely to need organ transplantation than ever to be in the unfortunate circumstances of being a donor.”
Organ donations have resulted in almost 5,000 transplant operations in Ireland alone, but there are still not enough donors to match the number of patients awaiting a transplant.
The Irish Kidney Association launched the ‘Organ Donor Ecard’ last year in order to appeal to a new generation and to those who do not want to carry the plastic cards in their wallets.
In order to avail of the Ecard, log onto the iPhone store or the android marketplace and search for ‘Organ Donor Ecard.’ Once you have downloaded it, you should then place it on the homepage of your phone to ensure that it will be seen.
For an organ donor card, freetext the word DONOR to 50050, visit the Irish Kidney Association website onwww.ika.ie, or you can visit your local/college doctor’s surgery or pharmacy to pick up a card for your pocket.