Approved heart and lung emojis to help raise awareness of organ donation

14 September 2020

An anatomical heart and life like lung emojis have been given the green light by Unicode for release this Autumn.

While red heart emojis are plentiful, there’s nothing that looks like an anatomical heart and no lung emoji.

There are currently 366 people in the UK waiting for a heart transplant and 345 waiting for new lungs*. So, these new emojis will be just another way of raising awareness of the need for hearts and lungs for transplant.

NHS Blood and Transplant welcome the new additions and hope they will help prompt the conversations in the digital world around the need for more organ donors, especially in the run up to the change in the laws around organ donation.

Melissa Thermidor, BAME Strategy Lead from NHS Blood and Transplant said: “We are so pleased that the heart and lung emojis have been approved for release in 2020. We need to get people talking about these organs and the fact more people need to donate them to save lives.

“There are more than 650 people waiting for a heart, lung or heart and lung transplant in the UK right now, including more than 40 children.

“Social media, including emojis, can be really powerful in inspiring people to talk about organ donation. With the law around organ donation changing in England and Scotland next year, we need everyone to decide whether they want to be an organ donor and tell their family their decision.”

Alison Cook, Chair of the Taskforce for Lung Health, said “It’s fantastic to see that the campaigning efforts of our members and supporters have paid off.

“Emojis are a source of fun but also play a huge role in normalising conversations about wider health problems. Currently, there is not enough awareness of lung conditions in the UK, despite the fact that somebody dies every five minutes from lung disease.

“Having a lung emoji is a fantastic step towards raising awareness of how many people in the UK are affected by lung conditions and will hopefully encourage more people to pay attention to such a vital organ”.

Athar Abidi, Head of Social for the British Heart Foundation, said: “Although the love heart emoji is a staple on our phones, sometimes it just doesn’t hit the right beat.

“Today in the UK, 7.4 million are living with heart and circulatory disease, and this very welcome new addition to the emoji library will help keep the conversation going around heart and circulatory conditions online as well as off.”

The heart and lung emojis will hit keyboards later this year.



*6 people are waiting for a combined heart and lung transplant