Have the chat that saves lives’ during DonateLife Week Sunday 23 February to Sunday 2 March 2014

‘Have the chat that saves lives’ during DonateLife Week

Sunday 23 February to Sunday 2 March 2014

NSW residents are being encouraged to ‘have the chat’ with their loved ones - to know one another’s decisions about participating in life-saving organ donation, following the launch of NSW DonateLife Week 2014.

The NSW Minister for Health, the Hon. Jillian Skinner MP, joined State Medical Director of the NSW Organ and Tissue Donation Service (OTDS), Dr Robert Herkes, and guests at the launch, held in Cecil Hills, south-west Sydney - a location chosen to honour local resident and organ donor Doujon Zammit, who died following an unprovoked assault in Greece in 2008.

Dr Herkes and Mrs Skinner were joined by Doujon’s parents Rosemarie and Oliver Zammit, the Mayor of Liverpool City Council Ned Mannoun, organ donors and recipients at Dunumbral Park, where a lake has been named after Doujon.

The launch comes as NSW residents are increasingly hearing the message about the generous gift of organ donation and registering their decision on the Australian Organ Donor Register, resulting in more life-saving transplantation.

The latest figures confirmed by the Australia and New Zealand Organ Donation Registry (ANZOD) show that NSW experienced a 16 per cent increase in actual donors in 2013, with 102 people donating organs for transplantation, compared to 88 in 2012.

Dr Herkes said this had resulted in a 20 per cent increase in the number of organs transplanted in NSW last year.

“Organ donation is actually a rare event - only around one per cent of people die under the specific circumstances in hospital that enable possible organ donation,” Dr Herkes said.

“In Australia, the family will always be asked to confirm the donation decision of the deceased before donation for transplantation can proceed. Families that have discussed and know each other’s donation decisions are much more likely to support organ and tissue donation proceeding.”

In a phenomenal joint initiative, nearly all 75 NSW Bunnings Warehouses will have DonateLife information stands manned by members of the 100+ NSW Lions Clubs during DonateLife Week 2014.

Showing their support for Australia’s national awareness week to promote organ and tissue donation, Lions members will also man barbeques at 69 of the NSW Bunnings Warehouses.

Australians are encouraged to learn more about organ and tissue donation this week, by attending events and information stands in their local area. To find out more, visit www.seslhd.health.nsw.gov.au/SESLHDOrgan or  www.donatelife.gov.au

Released 23 February 2014

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DISCOVER

the facts about organ and
tissue donation

  • Frequently asked questions
  • Understanding donation

DECIDE

and register on the Australian
Organ Donor Register

  • Register your decision

DISCUSS

your donation decision with family and friends

  • Who needs to know?
  • How to start the discussion