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Families urged to talk about organ donation

It's Organ Donation Week and new figures reveal there's hundreds of people on the waiting list across our region.

There's 27 people in Bristol on the waiting list and NHS Blood and Transplant say last year 28 lives were saved by a transplant in the county.

Across Somerset there's 64 people waiting and 44 lives were saved last year.

In Dorset there's 63 people waiting and 55 lives were saved last year, while in Devon there's 96 people with 85 lives saved last year.

There's just under 90,000 registered donors in Swindon and four patients - who died last year  - donated organs at the Great Western Hospital and saved 11 lives.

Gloucestershire has 77 people on the waiting list with 91 lives saved last year by a transplant.

Next year, the law around organ donation is changing in England. 

From spring 2020, all adults in England will be considered as 'having agreed to donate their own organs when they die' unless they record a decision not to donate or are in one of the excluded groups.

In the lead up to the change in law, NHS Blood and Transplant is 'urging families across England to talk about their organ donation decision, with the campaign message Pass It On'.

The NHS say 'knowing what their relative wanted, helps families support their decision at a difficult time'.

After the law has changed, families will still continue to be approached before organ donation goes ahead.

A recent survey of adults in England by NHS Blood and Transplant found that while 84% agreed it was 'important to let those closest to you know your views on organ donation', only 40% had shared their organ donation decision with their family or partner.

Anthony Clarkson, Director of Organ Donation and Transplantation for NHS Blood and Transplant said: "We need more people to talk about organ donation to increase the number of lifesaving transplants.

"Even after the law around organ donation changes next year, families will still be approached before organ donation goes ahead. So it remains so important to talk to your families about your views.

"Register your organ donation decision on the NHS Organ Donor Register and tell your family the choice you have made. If the time comes, we know families find the organ donation conversation with nurses or medical teams much easier if they already know what their relative wanted.”

"Find out more and register your decision by visiting NHS Organ Donor Register at www.organdonation.nhs.uk and share your decision with your family."

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