The NHS Organ Donor Register was set up in 1994 and is a confidential, computerised listing of those wishing their organs to be donated if possible.
Organs can only be donated if a person dies in hospital, usually in intensive care where the blood can be kept circulating. However, tissue (such as bone, skin, heart valves, corneas and many others) can be donated up to 48 hours after a death, which does not necessarily occur in a hospital. Up to 50 people can benefit from tissue donated from just one person.
If you are one of the millions of people carry donor cards before the Register was launched, you will need to sign up to make sure you are registered.
To register click here or call the NHS Organ Donor Line on 0300 123 2323.
You can also express your wishes by:
- Including them in a Will
- Writing down your wishes
- Telling someone verbally. This should normally be your next of kin or someone you have appointed to make medical decisions on your behalf. It is important for your loved ones to know what you would have wished about organ and tissue donation.