01:00PM, Monday 04 September 2017
New figures have revealed 21 people died in WIndsor and Maidenhead waiting for an organ transplant over the past ten years.
NHS Blood and Transplant revealed the number to mark Organ Donation Week, which runs from today (Monday) until Sunday.
Hundreds of people are ‘dying unnecessarily’ because families don’t know what their relatives wanted, according to the NHS.
In Berkshire, a total of 54 people have died in the last ten years, with 14 living in Slough, 14 living in Maidenhead and seven in Windsor.
Anthony Clarkson, assistant director of organ donation and transplantation for NHS Blood and Transplant, said: “We know that if everyone who supported donation talked about it and agreed to donate, most of those lives would be saved.
“If you want to save lives, don’t leave it too late to talk to your family. In Berkshire there are more than 309,000 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?”
There are currently 72 people waiting for a transplant in Berkshire, and 20 of these people are black or Asian.
NHS Blood and Transport said black or Asian patients make up 29 per cent of the national transplant waiting list but people from these backgrounds are less likely to donate.
Organs from people of the same ethnic background are more likely to be a close match and give the best chance of a positive outcome.
To support Organ Donation Week visit http://www.nhsbt.nhs.uk/get-involved/promoting-donation-hub/download-digital-materials/organ-donation-week/
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