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Growth in Organ Donations Results in More Lives Saved

Australia has achieved a 33 per cent growth in organ donations in the first six months of 2013, resulting in 108 more transplants than the same period last year.

Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Ageing Shayne Neumann said the June 2013 year-to-date outcome of 598 transplant recipients represents a 22 per cent increase in transplant recipients. He said considerable progress has been made to drive clinical change practices to remove potential barriers to organ and tissue donation and better identify potential organ and tissue donors.

“More than 550 clinical staff have received intensive training in the most appropriate ways to sensitively conduct conversations with potential donor families and requesting consent for donation. “Australia remains on track to reach its national target of 17.8 donors per million population (414 donors) in 2013.

“While it’s evident that the Australian Government’s national reform agenda is achieving sustained growth in donation and transplantation outcomes, we must continue our work to ensure that more Australians benefit from transplantation.”

Around one per cent of people will die in hospital in specific circumstances where organ donation is possible, although many more people can become tissue donors.

At end June 2013 there were 1,994 tissue donors of which 1,874 (94 per cent) were living donors, while the remaining 120 were deceased donors.

Family discussion on organ and tissue donation remains one factor influencing consent rates for deceased donation, and Mr Neumann encouraged all Australians to talk about their donation decision with their families.

“In Australia the family will always be asked to confirm the donation wishes of the deceased before donation for transplantation can proceed. “When families know the donation decision of a loved one, they are more likely to support organ and tissue donation proceeding.”