Strong growth in donation and transplantation outcomes

Strong growth in donation and transplantation outcomes

29 July 2013

Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Ageing Shayne Neumann today announced that Australia's strong year to date growth in organ donation outcomes have resulted in more lives being saved through transplantation.

Australia has achieved a 33 per cent increase in organ donation outcomes in the first six months of 2013 over the same period for 2012, with 216 deceased organ donors to the end of June 2013, said Mr Neumann.

The June 2013 year-to-date outcome of 598 transplant recipients represents a 22 per cent increase in transplant recipients over the equivalent 2012 year-to-date outcome of 490 transplant recipients,

This means 108 more people have benefited from a transplant compared to the same time last year.

Mr Neumann 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 its evident that the Australian Governments 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.

The Organ and Tissue Authority's June 2013 Performance Update is available at the DonateLife website.

For more information, contact the Parliamentary Secretary's Office on 02 6277 4755