Six people die waiting for organ donations in North Somerset

PUBLISHED: 16:00 06 September 2018

More people have been urged to join the NHS Organ Donor Register.

More people have been urged to join the NHS Organ Donor Register.

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‘Tragic’ figures have revealed several people from North Somerset died waiting for an organ transplant in the past five years, prompting calls for more people to become donors.

New data released to coincide with Organ Donation Week, which ends on Sunday, reveals six people from the district lost their lives while desperate for a transplant over the period.

The ‘shocking’ statistics have led NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) to urge more families to discuss the possibility of organ donation, with 6,000 people in desperate need of a life-saving transplant across the UK.

Donors saved 13 lives in North Somerset in 2017, but NHSBT affirms more are needed to help people in need.

Anthony Clarkson, NHSBT organ donation director, said: “It’s tragic so many people from Somerset have died waiting for a transplant – what is shocking is many of those lives could have been saved, had more families agreed to donate organs.

“People are dying every day because some families are not talking about donation.

“We need more families in Somerset to say yes to organ donation, so that more lives can be saved.”

The subject of organ donation has been a hot topic of late after a public consultation witnessed significant support for an opt-out system, rather than the current system which requires people to sign up as donors.

But the Government has indicated the policy will not be in place until at least 2020.

Mr Clarkson added: “We all know that organ donation legislation will change to a deemed consent system in England in future years but the harsh fact is people are dying right now waiting for an organ and it will still be important for people to know your decision.

“We don’t want people to die because of a fatal complacency that because you know you want to be an organ donor you presume your loved ones know it too.

“Please, let your family know your decision and ask them if they want to be donors.

“Don’t leave your family guessing what you would have wanted to happen.

“We know that many families feel enormous pride and comfort at knowing that their relative went on to save lives through the gift of organ donation.”

For more information, visit www.organdonation.nhs.uk

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