Support organ donation amidst the Coronavirus Disease 2019 epidemic
In 2020, the epidemic of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) undoubtedly posted challenges to all sectors of the society, as well as disrupted people’s normal lives. Under the “New Normal”, we have been fighting the virus by maintaining social distancing, practising hand hygiene and wearing masks. To protect ourselves and others, most of us have increased the time that we stay at home.
Amidst the COVID-19 epidemic, let us not forget that more than 2,000 patients in Hong Kong are waiting for organ transplant. Despite medical advancement, organ transplant remains the only hope for some patients with organ failure in order to live on. However, due to the limited supply from donation of transplantable organs, many patients would die before the right organ match comes. To shorten patients’ waiting time for organ transplant and to rekindle their lives, active support for organ donation by members of the public is critically important.
The Department of Health (DH) has set up the Centralised Organ Donation Register (CODR) to make it convenient for prospective donors to voluntarily register their wish to donate organs after death. The CODR provides a reliable and effective means for medical personnel responsible for organ donation to ascertain, upon patients’ death, their previously expressed wish to donate organs, so that they may approach the patients’ families as soon as possible to seek their consent for donation of the deceased’s organs to save patients in need of organ transplant. As consent from family members is necessary for transplantation operation, it is very important for prospective donors to inform their family members of their wish.
While fighting the epidemic, we can continue to support organ donation via “Organ Donation 3S”:
Sign-up at the CODR – You can stay at home and register your wish online at www.codr.gov.hk, or by returning the completed registration form to DH by mail or fax. After receiving your information, DH staff will contact you by telephone to verify your personal particulars and confirm your registration.
Speak-out your wish to your family – While staying at home, you can seize opportunities arising from everyday lives to start a discussion with your family, for example, when watching news of an organ donation story or organ donation promotional video.
Spread-out the message to your family and friends – You can take the opportunity to help create an atmosphere of supporting organ donation in our society.
You can also continue to learn about organ donation by visiting the Organ Donation Thematic Website (www.organdonation.gov.hk) and following the Facebook page “Organ Donation@HK” (https://www.facebook.com/organdonationhk) for the latest information. Let us join hands in supporting organ donation under the “New Normal” following the COVID-19 epidemic.