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133 people in Kent die while waiting for organ transplant

PUBLISHED: 10:12 04 September 2017 | UPDATED: 10:12 04 September 2017

NHSBT nurse Marc Coe with empty transplant boxes, showing missed opportunities

NHSBT nurse Marc Coe with empty transplant boxes, showing missed opportunities

Richard Crease Photography / NHSBT 07751246723

There are currently 137 people in the county on the list

Some 133 people in Kent have died in the last decade while being on the waiting list for an organ transplant, according to new figures.

NHS Blood and Transplant revealed the tragic number of deaths to mark Organ Donation Week and is now urging people to tell their families they want to become donors.

Hundreds of life saving transplants are being missed every year because families don’t know what their relative wanted.

Left to make the decision for someone they love, families often decide it is safer to say no.

The reluctance to talk about the issue is contributing to a deadly shortage of organs.

In Kent, there are currently 137 people waiting for a transplant but bosses say they will only receive that life changing call if people make sure their families know they want to be a donor.

Anthony Clarkson, assistant director of organ donation and transplantation for NHS Blood and Transplant, said: “It’s a tragedy that people are dying unnecessarily every year in Kent waiting for transplants.

“We know that if everyone who supported donation talked about it and agreed to donate, most of those lives would be saved.

“This Organ Donation Week, tell your family you want to save lives. A few words now can make an extraordinary difference. It will also make things much easier for your family to make the right decision.

“If you want to save lives, don’t leave it too late to talk to your family. In Kent there are more than 691,000 people on the NHS Organ Donor Register.

“However if you want to be a donor, your family’s support is still needed for donation to go ahead.

“If you are unsure about donation, please ask yourselves as a family; what would you do if one of you needed a transplant? Would you accept a life-saving organ? If you’d take an organ, shouldn’t you be prepared to donate?”

NHS Blood and Transplant surveys show more than 80 per cent of people support organ donation but only around 49 per cent of people have ever talked about it.

Research also shows that women are 30 per cent more likely to start a conversation about organ donation than men.

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