Organ Donation and Transplantation Report shows steady progress

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Australian families are being urged to decide and discuss their donation decisions in an effort to build on the generosity of those families who in 2012 agreed to their loved one becoming an organ and tissue donor.

More Australians became organ donors or received a life-saving transplant in 2012 than in any previous year, according to official figures released today by the Australia and New Zealand Organ Donation Registry (ANZOD) and the Organ and Tissue Authority.

"Australia achieved another year of steady growth in 2012 in donation and transplantation outcomes. While this is encouraging, we remain committed to further increasing donation and transplantation rates in the coming years," said Ms Yael Cass, Chief Executive Officer of the Organ and Tissue Authority.

A total of 354 Australians became organ donors in 2012, representing a 5% increase above the 2011 outcome of 337, and a 43% increase since 2009. The 2012 outcomes increase Australia's donor per million population (dpmp) rate to 15.6 dpmp, 38% over the 2009 donation rate of 11.3 dpmp.

The 2012 outcome of 1,052 transplant recipients from deceased donors represents a 4% increase (or additional 43 recipients) above the 2011 outcome of 1,009, and a 30% increase since 2009.

"A notable outcome in 2012 is that Australia achieved the highest number ever of kidney transplants from deceased donors," said Associate Professor Stephen McDonald, Australia and New Zealand Organ Donor Registry (ANZOD).

"In 2012, 606 Australians received a kidney transplant due to the generosity of 317 deceased organ donors whose ages ranged from infants through to the mid-80s. This represents a 6% increase in the number of kidney transplants compared to the 2011 outcome of 570 and a 36% increase over the past three years. In 2012 there were on average 1,000 Australians waiting for a kidney transplant in any month.

Associate Professor Stephen McDonald said, "Australia also achieved its highest ever number of liver transplant recipients at 230, compared to the 213 recipients in 2011. This represents an 8% increase over 2011 and a 24% increase since 2009.

Tasmania, Queensland, the Northern Territory, the Australia Capital Territory and New South Wales all achieved their highest ever annual organ donation outcomes in 2012. The breakdown of donors in 2012 was: New South Wales – 88; Victoria – 92; Queensland – 78; South Australia – 29; Western Australia – 32; Tasmania – 15; the Northern Territory – 8 and ACT – 12.

Ms Cass said that families play a crucial role in determining donation outcomes, because they ultimately give the final consent for donation to proceed, and she acknowledged their support.

"Families that agree to their loved one becoming an organ and tissue donor do so in the face of traumatic loss and grief. They are to be thanked and commended for upholding the wishes of a family member and for generously giving life to another.

Ms Cass said the reasons families decline their loved one becoming an organ and tissue donor are complex. These include being unsure of the donation wishes of their loved one, or whether their religion or culture supports donation. Families that have discussed organ and tissue donation and know each others' wishes in advance are much more likely to agree to donation when asked.

"The conversation you have today could one day transform the lives of 10 or more people. If you have made a decision about becoming an organ and tissue donor, make sure your loved ones know your decision to help them prepare, should the situation arise," said Ms Cass.

The 2012 Report from the Australia and New Zealand Organ Donation Registry (ANZOD) will be available athttp://www.anzdata.org.au/anzod/v1/indexanzod.html from 9.00am on Tuesday 22 January 2013.

The Organ and Tissue Authority's 2012 Performance Report will be available at http://www.donatelife.gov.au/the-authority/performance-reports from 8.00am on Tuesday 22 January 2013.

 

Note:

The Organ and Tissue Authority leads implementation of the Australian Government's national reform agenda to increase organ and tissue donation and transplantation. The Authority's aim is to: increase capability and capacity within the health system to maximise donation rates and to build community awareness and stakeholder engagement across Australia to promote organ and tissue donation.

The Australia and New Zealand Organ Donation Registry (ANZOD) is responsible for the collection and reporting on deceased organ donors in Australia and New Zealand. ANZOD records and reports on a wide range of statistics that relate to organ donation following death within Australia and New Zealand.

Released 22 January 2013

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