Australia Reaches 1000 Organ Transplant Recipients in 2011
More than 1000 Australian lives were saved or improved through organ transplants in 2011.
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16 January, 2012
More than 1000 Australian lives were saved or improved through organ transplants in 2011, the Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Ageing, Catherine King announced today.
“In 2011, 1001 Australians and their families benefited from the legacy of 337 of their fellow Australians who last year became organ donors,” Ms King said.
Releasing the 2011 Donation and Transplantation Performance Report, Ms King said, “To those Australians who in losing their life last year gave life to another, and to their families who supported their decision to become a donor, I say thank you.”
Ms King said the outcomes in 2011 show that the government’s reform agenda to boost organ and tissue donation rates continues to have an impact.
“At the end of the second full year of the national reform agenda, one in five transplant recipients (or an additional 202) can be attributed directly to the increase in organ donors. In 2009, there were 799 transplant recipients compared with 1,001 in 2011,” Ms King said.
The 2011 donation outcome represents a national organ donor rate of 14.9 donors per million population (dpmp). This represents a 30% increase on Australia’s dpmp rate over the past two years, up from 11.3 dpmp in 2009.
Ms King said that, while the 2011 results are very encouraging, there is still much to do to continue to build on and sustain the increase in organ and tissue donation to ensure that more Australians in need are able to benefit from transplantation.
“As well as the national DonateLife community awareness program, the reform agenda includes a clinical network of specialist organ and tissue donation staff in 77 hospitals. They are working to improve organ and tissue donation rates and outcomes, providing specialised family support services and raising awareness in their clinical communities.
“The reform agenda’s Australian Paired Kidney Exchange Program also made a very positive impact in 2011, providing the only chance for 23 Australians to receive a life-saving kidney transplant. This program highlights the generosity of Australians who, unable to donate their kidney to a loved one, enter into the program to donate anonymously to another matched pair.
“More Australians also became eye donors in 2011. Provisional data indicates that 1144 Australians donated their corneas in 2011 and 1730 Australians had their sight improved through corneal transplants. These are significant increases over the equivalent 2010 outcomes.
Ms King acknowledged the contribution of all members of the DonateLife Network, as well as that of the eye banks and tissue banks, the transplantation sector and the many non-government community organisations to increasing Australia’s organ and tissue donation rates.
“It is clear that more Australians are hearing our message for the need to make an informed decision about becoming an organ and tissue donor, and why it is so important for all Australian families to ask and know each other’s donation wishes.”
The 2011 Organ Donation and Transplantation Performance Report is available at http://www.donatelife.gov.au/the-authority/performance-reports.
The 2011 Report from the Australian and New Zealand Organ Donation Registry is available at http://www.anzdata.org.au.
For more information visit www.donatelife.gov.au.
For more information, please contact the Parliamentary Secretary’s office on 02 6277 4230
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