Organ donation recipient Dermot O’Flynn from Ovens at CUH for the launch of the #7LivesSaved organ donor public awareness campaign. Photo: Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision

CUH launches #7LivesSaved campaign

Cork showed its support fo this year’s National Organ Donation Awareness Week in many ways.

The week saw CUH launch its #7LivesSaved organ donor public awareness campaign which included images of transplant recipients and the healthcare teams which work on organ donation. The campaign was to encourage people of all ages to have a conversation about organ donation and share their wishes with family and friends.

More than 600 people are currently on waiting lists for life-changing transplants in Ireland but there is an acute shortage of organs available for transplant, those behind the campaign said.

Statistically, people are six times more likely to need a transplant for treatment of end-stage organ failure than they are to become an organ donor. Therefore, it is critical to ensure every circumstance where donation is possible is explored as an option with patients’ families in the hospital setting.

The awareness campaign at CUH features current and former CUH patients who received transplants, healthcare team colleagues who have benefitted from donation and members of staff who support organ donation through their work in the hospital.

It is hoped to extend the campaign, which is supported by the HSE’s Organ Donation and Transplant Ireland, to all acute hospitals in Ireland to raise awareness among both the general public and healthcare staff.

Dr Adrian Murphy, Consultant in Emergency Medicine at CUH and Clinical Lead for Organ Donation for South/South West Hospital Group, said: “Organ donation requires the support of a very dedicated team in the hospital from the Emergency Department, the Intensive Care Unit and Operating Theatre.

“We are very grateful for the huge support within the hospital and we remember those donors and their families who selflessly give people the priceless gift of life. We are very humbled that these families can put the interests of others ahead of their own at a time of great personal loss. It is a great privilege to care for these families and support them through this difficult time.”

There is a very strong ethos of support for organ donation within CUH from all departments and teams. Healthcare staff play a vital role in ensuring organ donation is considered in end-of-life options for patients where there is no prospect of recovery, said Breda Doyle, Organ Donor Nurse Manager at the South/South-West Hospital Group.

She added: “There are organ donation teams throughout our hospitals supporting families and hospital teams to ensure organ donation is considered and raised with families where appropriate. These teams consist of an Organ Donation Nurse Manager and a Consultant Clinical Lead in Organ Donation. The donation team work together with the extended healthcare team to provide patient and family focussed care with the aim of supporting families in difficult circumstances in considering organ donation and helping to ensure it is facilitated where possible.”

Support from City Hall

Cork City Hall was lit up in green all throughout the Organ Donor Awareness Week in support of the campaign which aims to shine a light on the plight of people with organ failure and the gift of life through transplantation.

The key message for Organ Donor Awareness Week (23-30 April), which was organised by the Irish Kidney Association in association with Organ Donation Transplant Ireland is to Share your Wishes.

Members of the Cork branch of the Irish Kidney Association met with Lord Mayor of Cork Cllr Colm Kelleher ahead of City Hall lighting up green.

Individuals who wish to support organ donation are encouraged to Share Their Wishes and keep the reminders of their decision available by carrying the organ donor card, permitting Code 115 to be included on their driver’s licence or having the ‘digital organ donor card’ app on their smartphone.

Organ Donor Cards can be requested by visiting or phone the Irish Kidney Association on 01-6205306 or free text the word DONOR to 50050.