Norfolk families are being urged to talk about organ donation to help increase the number of people whose lives can be saved or transformed by a transplant. 

The appeal was launched by NHS Blood and Transplant as part of the national Organ Donation Week, which runs until Sunday.

It warns there is an urgent shortage of donors, despite increasing numbers of Norfolk people signing-up.

Last year 44 people in the county had their lives saved by an organ transplant.

In May the law around organ donation in England changed to an “opt out” system and a spokesman said: “This means that it will be considered that you would be willing to donate your organs, unless you have opted out, are in one of the excluded groups or have told your family you do not want to donate.

 “It is important people know that you still have a choice and family members will still be consulted before organ donation goes ahead. Families are more likely to support your organ donation decision, when they already know what you want to happen.” 

Anthony Clarkson, director of organ donation and transplantation, said having the conversation could help to save lives.

“We need more people in Norfolk to talk about organ donation to increase the number of transplants.

 “Even now the law has changed, families will still be approached before organ donation goes ahead. So it remains so important to talk to your families and make sure they know what you want to happen.

 “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.” 

Visit www.organdonation.nhs.uk

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