A shortage of organ donors has resulted in 102 people in Hertfordshire dying over the past 10 years while on the transplant waiting list.

NHS Blood and Transplant have revealed the number of deaths to mark Organ Donation Week this week (September 4 to 10) and people are now being urged to tell their families they want to become donors so that hundreds of life saving transplants are not missed every year.

Anthony Clarkson, assistant director of Organ Donation and Transplantation for NHS Blood and Transplant believes the reluctance to talk about the issue is contributing to a deadly shortage of organs, particularly as there are currently 108 people waiting for a transplant in Hertfordshire.

Mr Clarkson said: “It’s a tragedy that people are dying unnecessarily every year in Hertfordshire 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 want to save lives, don’t leave it too late to talk to your family. In Hertfordshire there are more than 437,000 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?”

To support Organ Donation Week visit: http://www.nhsbt.nhs.uk/get-involved/promoting-donation-hub/download-digital-materials/organ-donation-week/ ​​