Plea for Lancashire organ donors

BOND: Phil Marlowe and son Jamie

BOND: Phil Marlowe and son Jamie

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Eighty-four people in Lancashire have died waiting for a transplant in the past five years and 296 people in the county are currently waiting for a transplant, new figures show.

Across the UK in 2014/15, the number of people donating organs fell for the first time in 11 years.

NHS Blood and Transplant is highlighting the figures as it publishes the annual Transplant Activity Report, which details organ donation and transplantation across the UK. On average, three people in the UK die each day in need of an organ transplant.

Currently, four out of 10 families don’t give permission to donate when approached.

The latest figures show that last year in Lancashire, 72 people’s lives were saved or improved thanks to deceased donation but more lives would be saved if more families agreed to donate their loved one’s organs after death.

In Lancashire, 33 people also benefitted from a living donor transplant, where donors gave a kidney or part of their liver. They include Phil Marlowe, 51, of Ribbleton, Preston, who donated a kidney to his son Jamie, 29.

NHS Blood and Transplant is asking people in Lancashire to join the Organ Donor Register and then tell their family and friends about their decision. Families are much more likely to agree to donation if they know it is what their loved one wanted.

Sally Johnson, NHS Blood and Transplant’s Director of Organ Donation and Transplantation, said: “We are truly grateful to the deceased donors who enabled 72 people in Lancashire to receive an organ transplant last year. Their donations have saved and improved lives. Sadly, 84 people from Lancashire have died while waiting on the transplant waiting list in the past five years.

“We cannot hope to save more lives unless there is a revolution in attitudes towards organ donation.” Visit www.organdonation.nhs.uk or call 0300 123 2323.