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The Bermuda Hospitals Board (BHB) and the Bermuda Organ and Tissue Donor Association (BOTDA) will next week reach out to the public to become donors.

A spokeswoman for the groups said that while advances in medical science have made transplant surgery a treatment option for some serious diseases, there remains a global shortage of organs.

Many people both in Bermuda and around the world wait months and years for transplantation.

Judy Richardson, BHB Chief of Nursing, Quality and Risk, said: “We currently treat 137 people at our dialysis unit every week — 33 of these patients are on the waiting list for a donated kidney.

“Organ donors provide patients with life-saving alternatives to illness and greatly improve their quality of life. We have an opportunity this week to increase the number of people in our community who are organ donors, which will also give new hope to many Bermudians who are currently on transplant waiting lists.”

Those who chose to become organ donors are asked to fill out a donor card, available at TCD, doctor’s offices and post offices.

It is also important to discuss you decision with family members so your decision is known.

As part of Organ Donor Week, three free public screenings will be held between 11am and 1pm at TCD next Tuesday, Butterfield Bank’s Reid Street Branch on Wednesday and Colonial Insurance on Reid Street on Thursday.

And next Monday and Friday between 10am and 1pm, healthcare professionals will register donors and answer questions at King Edward VII Memorial Hospital.

Members of the public may contact the hospital at 239-1282 for more information about becoming an organ donor and members of BOTDA are available for presentations at companies and business wishing to know more about organ donation.

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Published April 19, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated April 19, 2013 at 12:50 am)

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