With Organ Donation Week having started, families across Lancashire are being urged to talk to their families, with new figures showing that 65 people from the area have died waiting for a transplant in the last five years.
Despite the fact that more and more people are supporting donating their loved one’s organs, there is still an urgent need for more people to support donation with Organ Donation Week (September 3rd to 9th) prime time for people to make it clear to their families that they want to save lives through organ donation.
Last year, 134 people in Lancashire had their lives saved by a transplant, and while the number of donors is increasing and the waiting lists are reducing, right now there are around 6,000 people waiting for a life-saving organ transplant across the UK.
“It’s tragic that so many people from Lancashire have died waiting for a transplant," said Anthony Clarkson, Interim Director of Organ Donation and Transplantation for NHS Blood and Transplant. "What is shocking is that 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," he added. "We need more families in Lancashire to say yes to organ donation, so that more lives can be saved.”
With three people dying every day in need of an organ, during Organ Donation Week the NHS is urging families to talk about donation with the message ‘Words Save Lives’ while councils and organisations around the country are also lighting prominent buildings pink - the colour of the modern donor card - in support.
“We all know that organ donation legislation will change to a deemed consent system in England and Scotland 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," Mr Clarkson continued. “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," he added. "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.”
Only a small percentage of people die in circumstances where they can donate, so every donor is precious. Join the millions of people are already on the NHS Organ Donor Register today and tell your family you want to save lives. Register at www.organdonation.nhs.uk