Appeal to talk about organ donation as 113 people in Herts wait for life-saving transplants
PUBLISHED: 12:02 25 August 2019
With 113 people in Hertfordshire alone waiting for a life-saving transplant, people are being urged to discuss donating their organs after their death.
In 2018/19 31 people in Herts gave the gift of life by donating their organs after death, according to the Organ Donation and Transplantation Activity Report, and nationally there were 1,600 organ donors - a record high.
Sadly, however, 54 people in Hertfordshire have died over the last five years before they received the organ they desperately needed.
Organ donation is a relatively rare event in the UK because only about one per cent of the half a million people who die each year do so in circumstances which allow organs to be donated.
From spring 2020, the law around organ and tissue donation in England is changing. All adults in England will be considered as having agreed to donate their own organs when they die unless they record a decision not to donate or are in one of the excluded groups, which include vistors and people who lack mental capacity.
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As the families of potential donors will continue to be approached by specialist nurses and asked to support their relative's decision to be an organ donor, NHS Blood and Transplant is urging people to talk to their relatives, to make it easier for them to support what you want.
Anthony Clarkson, director of organ donation and transplantation at NHS Blood and Transplant, said: "We're incredibly grateful to all the courageous donors and their families who helped us to save so many lives last year.
"Organ donation is the only hope for many desperately ill people. We know many families feel a sense of pride and comfort from a loved one's decision to let their final act be saving lives through organ donation.
"No lifesaving transplant would be possible without the generosity of every donor and their families.
"There are 113 people in Hertfordshire waiting for a transplant now. Their only hope for a new life is that a family in their time of grief will make the wonderful decision to agree to organ donation.
"With the law around organ donation changing in England from next spring, we urge everyone to find out about the choices available to them, make their decision and share it with their family."
To join the NHS Organ Donor Register visit organdonation.nhs.uk.