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Revealed: More than 800 died on waiting list for organ transplant in London over past 10 years

The NHS is calling on more people to talk about donating to help with the 'deadly shortage of organs'

Over 800 people have died on the waiting list for an organ donation in the past 10 years(Image: Cate Gillon/Getty Images)

More than 800 people in London have died while being on the waiting list for an organ transplant over the past 10 years, new figures have revealed.

NHS Blood and Transplant revealed on Monday (September 4) the staggering number of deaths as it raises awareness of Organ Donation Week.

The organisation it is urging people to tell families if they want to become donors.

According to the NHS, hundreds of life-saving transplants are being missed every year because families do not know what their relative wanted in regards to donation.

They suggest that, if left to make the decision for someone they love, families will often decide it is safer to say no.

As a result, an NHS Blood and Transplant spokesman suggested the reluctance to talk about the issue is contributing to a “deadly shortage of organs”.

There are currently 1,269 people waiting for a transplant in London.

Anthony Clarkson, assistant director of organ donation and transplantation for NHS Blood and Transplant, spoke about the shortage and said people are dying unnecessarily.

He said: “It’s a tragedy that people are dying unnecessarily every year in London 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 (September 4 to September 10) 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.”

Would you register to be an organ donor?(Image: Peter Byrne/PA Wire)

 

In the capital, there is a particular need for more black and Asian people to donate, with 873 black or Asian people in the region currently waiting for a transplant.

Patients from these communities make up 29% of the national transplant waiting list but they are less likely to agree to donate, according to the NHS.

Organs from people from the same ethnic background are more likely to be a close match and give the best chance of a positive outcome.

On top of this, an NHS Blood and Transplant survey claimed more than 80% of people support organ donation but only around 49% of people have ever talked about it.

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

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“If you want to save lives, don’t leave it too late to talk to your family," Mr Clarkson added.

“In London, there are more than 2.47m 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?”

To support Organ Donation Week, visit the website.

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