Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Ageing Catherine King today announced that Australia has achieved the highest monthly deceased organ donation outcome since national records began.
Ms King said, "In November this year, Australia achieved a record number of 45 deceased organ donors, providing life-transforming transplants for 141 Australians."
"This is an encouraging outcome. I pay tribute to the generous donors and their families who consented to organ donation proceeding as well as the dedicated clinical staff."
Ms King commended the DonateLife network staff on their continued and committed effort to increase donation and transplantation outcomes through the delivery of a professional clinical and medical program.
"As at end November 2012, four states have already achieved their highest ever donation outcome, which is an outstanding achievement for the Northern Territory (8), Tasmania (15), Queensland (74) and the ACT (11)."
"This shows that the Australian Government's national reform agenda to increase organ and tissue donation rates is gaining traction."
Ms King said that while the recent results are encouraging, there is still much to do to continue to build on and sustain the increase in organ and tissue donation.
"During 2012, intensive training facilitated by the Organ and Tissue Authority has been delivered to more than 390 clinical staff including DonateLife Network staff and other ICU and Emergency Department staff through the Family Donation Conversation Workshops."
"These workshops are building capability in sensitively conducting conversations with potential donor families and requesting consent for donation."
"Increasing family consent rates in Australia is vital in seeing these rates continue to rise, because in Australia the family will always be asked to confirm the donation wishes of the deceased before donation for transplantation can proceed.
Ms King said, "Around 40% of families say no to organ donation in part because they did not know the donation wishes of the deceased. This alone highlights why every Australian family should ask and know each other's donation wishes.
"As we near the holiday season, I appeal to all Australian families to have the donation conversation– one organ and tissue donor can transform the lives of ten or more people. Families that know the wishes of the deceased are much more likely to uphold their loved one's donation decision in the event they ever find themselves in that situation.
Year to date, Australia has achieved 330 deceased organ donors and 985 transplant recipients. This represents a 6% increase on the 2011 year to date donation outcome of 310 donors and a 5% increase on the 2011 year to date outcome of 934 transplant recipients.