2014 Organ and Tissue Donation Outcomes

Some 1,117 Australian lives were transformed by the generosity of 378 organ donors in 2014.

Page last updated: 10 February 2015

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10 February 2015

Some 1,117 Australian lives were transformed by the generosity of 378 organ donors in 2014, Assistant Minister for Health Fiona Nash said today.

Releasing the Organ and Tissue Authority 2014 Performance Report, Minister Nash thanked families of organ and tissue donors and urged Australians to discuss their decision to donate with their families.

“These families gave the gift of life at the time of their loved one’s death,” Minister Nash said.

“It is a truly amazing gift. The number of deceased organ donors has now increased by 53 per cent since 2009, when the DonateLife Network was established.

“However in 2014, a fall in the number of people donating in some States and Territories meant the number of deceased organ donors nationally decreased by 3 per cent – to 378 organ donors from 391 in 2013.

“Transplant recipients also decreased by a small number.”

Research shows that more than 60 per cent of Australian families give consent for organ and tissue donation to proceed. However, families that have discussed and know the donation decision of their loved one allow organ donation to proceed on 80 per cent of occasions.

“I urge all Australians to discuss this important issue with their families and register their wish to donate,” Minister Nash said.

“Less than 1 per cent of people die under the specific circumstances in hospital where organ donation is possible.

“Families that have had a prior family discussion find it much easier to agree to a loved one becoming a donor. For many, the donation process provides them with comfort in their loss of a loved one.

“I invite discussion on how the Australian community can continue to lift donation rates and on the appropriateness of the current donation arrangements, which place responsibility on the family to decide whether or not organ donation can go ahead.

“One organ and tissue donor can transform the lives of ten or more people. One conversation with your family today could help save the lives of many.”

The challenge of continuing to increase organ donation rates will be discussed by Commonwealth, State and Territory governments in the coming months.

The number of organs transplanted in Australia has increased by 39 per cent since 2009, while the number of transplant recipients has jumped by 38 per cent, as doctors often take multiple donated organs from each donor.

“The report also showed that in 2014, we saw a 31 per cent increase in deceased tissue donation from both tissue only donors and multi organ and tissue donors.

“In the same period there was a 45 per cent increase in tissue grafts transplanted and a 50 per cent increase in the number of tissue transplant recipients,” Minister Nash said.

“In 2015 we will focus on continued change in clinical practice such as increasing the number of identified potential donors, improving the donation process for loved ones and enhancing IT systems to support organ and tissue donation and transplantation.”

For more information and the full Organ and Tissue Authority 2014 Performance Report visit the Organ and Tissue Authority website.

Media enquiries: Les White 0409 805 122, les.white@health.gov.au

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