Organ donation

Cardiomyopathy UK supports organ donation, and encourages you to stay opted in on the NHS organ donor register.

Losing a loved one, whatever the circumstances, is a devastating experience. Having to make a decision about organ donation can be an added element of stress for family members trying to cope with a loss.

If you’re fit and healthy then donating your organs is likely to be the last thing on your mind – but it’s a vital decision you can make now that could save lives in the future.

Visit the NHS organ donor register for more information about organ donation and how to register.

A message from the heart

20-year-old Jim Lynskey is surviving on a battery powered heart kept in his pocket, this video shows the desperate need for organ donors in the UK.


Cardiomyopathy is the leading reason for people needing a heart transplant

Although many people with cardiomyopathy have their condition and symptoms controlled with medication, for some people in advanced heart failure, a heart transplant can be their best option of controlling their condition. Cardiomyopathy is the most common cause of people needing a heart transplant in the UK[1].

Only 142 heart transplants were carried out in the 9 months up to January 2016. This sounds like quite a lot until you realise that today in 2020 there are around 295 people waiting for a heart in the UK – many of whom will have cardiomyopathy.

There is still a huge shortage of organ donors in the UK, with only around 1 in 3 people on the donor register. Only with a significant increase in the number of people on the organ donor register can we increase the number of heart transplants, which now currently sits at around 180 a year.

The law around organ donation has changed. From the 20th May, the introduction of Max and Kiera’s Law will make all adults potential organ donors unless they opt out.  Your loved ones will be asked to make the final decision if the worst should happen, so it’s important to talk to them about your wishes too.

A donated heart can mean a whole new chance at life for someone living with advanced heart failure due to cardiomyopathy. That’s why we encourage everyone to consider staying on the register and telling their family about their wishes.

Visit the NHS organ donor register for more information about organ donation and how to register.

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[1] Texas Heart Institute, July 2015.