Plea for more black and Asian donors in Leicestershire

People from ethnic minorities have been urged to register as organ donors because of a shortage of organs for black and Asian patients.

Currently there are more than 200 people in Leicestershire waiting for an organ transplant - almost half of whom are from ethnic minorities.

On average, they have to wait three times longer for a transplant, the NHS Blood and Transplant organisation said.

It warned lives could be at risk if more people did not carry a donor card.

'Dire need'

The organisation believes more should be done to tackle any cultural and religious reluctance to sign up.

Charmaine Buss, specialist nurse for organ donation in the East Midlands, said: "Almost half of the people waiting for an organ transplant in Leicestershire are from ethnic communities and the majority need a kidney transplant.

"Successful transplants can be carried out between people from different ethnic groups but patients from the same ethnic group are more likely to be a close match."

Richard Power, from University Hospitals of Leicester, said: "Because of the large South Asian population in Leicester we are very aware of the dire need for more Asian people to sign up to the NHS Organ Donor Register.

"We see people on a daily basis living with life threatening conditions who are waiting for years for the organ that could transform or save their lives."

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