A total of 16 patients in need of an organ transplant have died due to a shortage of donors in the county over the last year, and more may follow if people don’t add their name to their register.
New figures show 184 people in Herts are currently waiting for a transplant, with 10 of them in the Hemel Hempstead area.
There are also currently 16 people on the active waiting list for an organ in Watford and a further and 16 in St Albans.
The West Herts Hospitals NHS Trust is joining NHS Blood and Transplant in highlighting the figures to encourage people to spell out their decision to be an organ donor during National Transplant Week this week.
The aim of this year’s campaign is to increase awareness that the decision to donate a loved one’s organs falls to the family if you die in circumstances where you can donate.
The Trust’s chief nurse Jackie Ardley said: “Despite the thousands of life-saving transplant operations which take place every year, around 10,000 people are currently in need of an organ transplant.
“More lives could potentially be saved if more families agreed to donate their loved ones’ organs after death and families are much less likely to allow organ donation if they don’t know it’s what their loved one wanted.
“I encourage people to join up to the NHS Organ Donor Register and, importantly, to let their family and friends know they have.”
Data supplied by the Trust reveals three people in need of an organ transplpant die every day, but just one donor can help save the lives of up to nine people.
In the year 2012 to 2013, a total of 1,212 deceased organ donors contributed toward saving the lives of 3,112 people in the UK.
Six patients from West Herts hospitals donated organs.
An information stand about organ donation is to be set up in the Marlowes Shopping Centre from 10am to 4pm tomorrow, manned by chair of the West Herts organ donation committee and other members.