NEW figures show more than 90 people are waiting for organ transplants in Bradford as health bosses urge more people to sign up the donor register.
Five people died waiting for vital transplants last year and across the district there are 92 people waiting for an organ donation.
Bradford Teaching Hospitals staff are using National Transplant Week 2014, which runs from today until July 13, to encourage more people to potentially save a life.
Deputy medical director and renal consultant, Dr Robin Jeffrey, said: "For those waiting for a transplant life can be stark. The reality is that many of our patients will have very long waits and some, unfortunately, may never get the opportunity of a transplant operation.
"This week I would urge people to have the conversation of what they would like to happen to their organs whenever they die. No-one likes to talk about death, but this might come to your front door and if it does, consider if you would you like to help someone else after you die."
During 2013/14, 118 people with BD postcodes received life-saving transplants - the highest number since 2012 - but five also died waiting.
Renal consultant and the Foundation Trust’s lead on kidney transplantation Dr John Stoves said there was a particular issue with too few registrations from some parts of the community.
“Only a very small percentage of people on the NHS Organ Donor Register are from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities, so it is more difficult for patients from these communities to find a match and they end up waiting much longer for a kidney transplant - approximately four years on average," he said.
Last year, Mohammed Islam, of Buttershaw, received a kidney from his younger brother who donated it after Mohammed struggled due to a lack of donors from the South Asian communities - possibly due to religious reasons, he said.
"The gift of life does not seem like something each and every one of us can give, but you can.
"For every kidney dialysis patient that receives a transplant, it’s not just them you are giving another chance to, but their whole families and friends. In fact you will have an impact on every part of that person’s life, for possibly life," he said.
His outlook is shared by Bradford Royal Infirmary specialist nurse for organ donation Lauren Ward, who is encouraging people to discuss organ donation and transplantation this week.
"This year we will be hoping to encourage more people in Bradford than ever before to join the NHS Organ Donor Register and to tell their family they want to be a donor," she added.
"Many people don't realise that if they haven’t made their donation decision clear, their family could be asked to agree to donation taking place. Nobody wants to leave their family with such a burden so we want to encourage everyone to make it clear and spell it out."
Between the start of the year and June 17, 2,748 people across Bradford joined the UK organ donor register. To sign-up, visit organdonation.nhs.uk/how_to_become_a_donor or call the NHS Donor Line on 0300 123 23 23.