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Wednesday 23rd May 2018

NHS call for older donors

1st September 2009

Many people in the UK may falsely believe they are too old to donate their organs, according to NHS Blood and Transplant.

heart surgery

Their poll of 1,540 people showed that over 50% counted themselves out as potential donors because they thought they were "too old or too ill".

NHS Blood and Transplant said they needed organs from donors of "all ages" and only HIV or vCJD would prevent organs being used.

They said illnesses which affected particular organs would not preclude the use of other parts of the body.

In addition to skin and bone 23 organs can be used, but 54% of people aged over 55 who participated in the poll believed they were "too old or too ill" in comparison to only 15% of people aged under 55.

Only 16% of people aged over 55 are registered to donate organs, compared to one third of people aged between 16 and 25.

Professor James Neuberger, associate medical director of NHS Blood and Transplant, said: "The belief that there is some sort of age limit on becoming an organ donor is a complete myth. Organs are successfully transplanted from people in their 70s and 80s, and the oldest cornea donor recorded was 104 years old."

"Many people joke that we wouldn't want their organs, but with 10,000 people currently in need of a transplant, we really do," he added.

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