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Australia should be proud of its organ donation achievements

By January 23, 2019 General News

Transplant Australia today congratulated the Federal Government and the entire DonateLife network for the latest increases in organ and tissue donation outcomes.

Last year was a record year for donation in Australia with 554 generous donors providing a life-saving transplant for 1,544 Australians facing end-stage organ failure.

Transplant Australia CEO, Chris Thomas, stated the most pleasing statistic in the announcement by the Minister responsible, The Hon Ken Wyatt, was the overall increased consent rate.

“Improving the consent rate in Australia is the key to ensuring Australia becomes one of the world’s top five donation nations. An increase from 59 per cent to 64 per cent in the last 12 months demonstrates that Australia’s approach to donation is working,” Mr Thomas said.

“We need to recognize the improving our donation system will not be achieved overnight. It has taken 10 years to double our donation outcomes and Australia still needs further improvements to match best practice around the world.

“Encouraging more Australians to register on the Australian Organ Donor Register is the key. These latest statistics show that the consent rate from registered donors was 93 per cent. Yet it drops back to just over 50 per cent (53 per cent) from families where the potential donor was not registered and no previous discussion had taken place.

“We need to increase the number of registered donors from the rate of 33 per cent to in excess of 50 per cent. That’s been achieved in the United States which consistently has higher donation outcomes than Australia.”

Mr Thomas said although these outcome reports are about statistics the families of the 554 deceased donors in 2018 must be remembered and thanked for their support of donation.

“Without these donors and the support of their families, transplantation simply does not happen. We can have all the medical and surgical expertise, the wonderful nursing care and the ongoing support from carers. But without donors, it is a very different outcome for these terminally-ill Australians.

Mr Thomas congratulated the Minister for Indigenous Health and Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care, the Hon Ken Wyatt, for his leadership in organ and tissue donation.

Transplant Australia is committed to promoting organ and tissue donation and transplantation in Australia through:

  • Strong advocacy and media relations
  • Community awareness and education through our national network of recipients, and in universities and schools
  • Demonstrating that recipients can return to the fullness of life through participation in sport and physical activity through the Australian Transplant Games, the Transplant Australia Football Club, cycling and triathlon clubs
  • Recognising the wonderful contribution by donors, their families and living donors
  • Helping recipients transition back into life through our Living with a Transplant Program and the internationally-acclaimed Fit for Life! Program
  • Research to help recipients with lifestyle modification, medication compliance and mental wellbeing issues

For further information about Transplant Australia visit www.transplant.org.au

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