More than 70 people in Bucks have died on the waiting list for an organ transplant in the last ten years, new figures have revealed. 

NHS Blood and Transplant says a total of 76 people who needed a transplant have died in the last decade - prompting an urgent call for people to sign up as donors. 

The NHS says hundreds of life saving transplants are being missed every year because families do not know what their relative wanted. Left to make the decision for someone they love, families often decide it is safer to say no.

The reluctance to talk about the issue is contributing to a deadly shortage of organs - in Bucks, there are currently 82 people waiting for a transplant. 

The call for more people to sign up to be donors comes as Organ Donation Week - which runs until September 10 - gets underway. 

There is also a particular need for more black and Asian people to sign up to donate their organs - patients from these communities make up 29 per cent of the national transplant waiting list but they are less likely to agree to donate. 

There are currently 33 black or Asian people from Buckinghamshire currently waiting for a transplant.

Anthony Clarkson, assistant director of Organ Donation and Transplantation for NHS Blood and Transplant, said: “It’s a tragedy that people are dying unnecessarily every year in Buckinghamshire 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, 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.

“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?”

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