Children dying waiting for a transplant
NHS Blood and Transplant said that last year, 22 adults and 10 children died on the waiting list for a heart transplant or within one year of being removed from the list.
It added that some people were removed from the list because they were too unwell to cope with the surgery.
Overall 470 people waiting for new organs died while on the transplant waiting list, including 14 children aged 18 or under, or within one year of removal.
The organisation said that during Organ Donation Week, which runs from September 4 to 10, people should “strike up a conversation” with their loved ones to let them know whether they would like to be a donor.
The comments come as a four-year-old girl is starting school with a new heart.
The parents of Evie Doherty praised the family of the organ donor, saying they made a “selfless decision at a terrible time” which gave their daughter the gift of life.
Figures show that 43 under-16s had heart transplants last year.
Overall there were 383 heart transplants in adults and children in 2017/18.
Anthony Clarkson, NHS Blood and Transplant’s associate medical director for organ donation, said: “It’s lovely to see Evie going to school thanks to an organ donor.
“Sadly too many children still die waiting for a transplant.
“Please tell your family you want to donate this Organ Donation Week. A few words can make an extraordinary difference.”
As of August 25, there were 6,414 people on the transplant waiting list - of these, 36 were aged under 18.
Typically, children on the waiting list wait 463 days for a non-urgent heart transplant, and 70 days for an urgent heart transplant.
Earlier this week, the NHS said that across the UK, three families a week were saying no to organ donations because they did not know whether their relatives would have wanted to donate or not.
It said that when families are left to make such a decision on their loved one’s behalf, some decide it is “safer to say no”.
Last year in Yorkshire, 246 families were asked about their loved ones donation wishes and 153 of them consented to organ donation after death.
A year ago, a campaign backed by The Yorkshire Post to encourage people to become organ donors saw 42,000 people in the county sign up in just under five months.
The campaign was launched after it emerged that just 29 Leeds families consented to organ donation in 2013 as around 800 people in the county awaited crucial transplants.
It aimed to both raise awareness of organ donation and the need for people to discuss their wishes.
Among the high-profile supporters are retired cricket umpire Dickie Bird, Geoffrey Boycott OBE and England campaign Joe Root as well as actors Sir Patrick Stewart and Downton Abbey’s Jim Carter.
Mr Bird’s support for the campaign was inspired by a visit to Great Ormond Street Hospital, where the plight of sick children reduced him to tears.
“I broke down,” he said. “It showed me that we need to do all we can to collectively do something about it.
“I hope that there are a lot of people who will support this - it’s a deserved cause and it should be appreciated and supported.
Dr Simon Flood, a clinical lead for organ donation at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust said at the time: “Just one organ donor can transform the lives of up to nine people.
“If more families felt sure of their loved one’s wishes to be a donor, more lives could be saved.”