1,396 Australian lives saved thanks to organ donation

1,396 Australian lives saved thanks to organ donation
1,396 Australian lives saved thanks to organ donation

Today, the Minister responsible for the Organ and Tissue Authority,  The Hon Ged Kearney MP, released the 2023 Australian Donation and Transplantation Activity Report

The Activity Report provides a measure of progress against the Government’s national program for increasing organ and tissue donation for transplantation.   

It includes data on organ, eye and tissue donation and transplantation – both deceased and living – informing ongoing sector improvements.  

Assistant Minister Kearney spent the morning meeting with donor families and members of the Organ and Tissue Authority Advisory Board to discuss their experiences. 

Donor families, Oren Klemich and Georgia Bartlett, shared their stories. Oren tragically lost his son Jack in 2009 to meningococcal disease. Georgia’s mother Fiona passed away in 2020 after a spontaneous brain bleed. Both Jack and Fiona were registered organ donors, which made it easier for their families to say yes to donation during a time of immense grief.  

Thank you to the generous donors, and their families, who have said yes to donation and given others in need a second chance at life.  

In 2023, this resulted in the highest rates of deceased organ, eye and tissue donation and transplantation since 2019. 

However, there is still more work to do to increase the consent rate for donation in Australia, with 55% of families saying yes to donation in 2023. 

A national consent rate of 70% would make Australia one of the world leading donation countries and see an extra 300 life-saving organ transplants every year.  For around 1,800 Australians on the waitlist and a further 14,000 people on dialysis, this would be a life-changing gift.  

Each year, opportunities for transplantation are missed because families don’t know what their loved ones want.  

If you want to be a donor, make sure you tell your family, so you leave them certain about what you want. And, go ahead and register today. 

You can register as an organ and tissue donor in a range of ways including: 

Deceased donation and transplantation data 

In 2023, 1,396 Australians received an organ transplant and there were 513 organ donors. This is a 13% increase in organ donors, resulting in a 14% increase in the number of people receiving a transplant compared with 2022. 

Australia’s rate of donors per million population (dpmp) increased to 19.3 dpmp from 17.5 dpmp in 2022, against a national target of 25 dpmp. This is the highest since 2019, indicating continued recovery from the impacts of COVID-19. 

Living kidney donation data 

In 2023, there was a 13% increase in the total number of living kidney donors with 253 donors, compared to 2022, and 6% more than 2019.  

Of these, 55 kidney transplants were through the Australian and New Zealand Paired Kidney Exchange Program (ANZKX). This is a 31% increase over 2022 (42) and the highest number of donors since the commencement of the ANZKX program in 2019. 

Eye and tissue data  

Many more people can become eye and tissue donors. Eye and tissue donation can occur for people who die outside a hospital and up to 24 hours after death. 

In 2023, there were 1,546 eye donors (up 5% from 2022) and 2,486 corneal transplants (up 6% from 2022). There were also 328 deceased tissue donors (up 19% from 2022), and 2,958 living tissue donors. 

Want more info? 

  • Explore Stats in Australia for an overview of the latest and most up to date stats. 

  • Access our data reports and find out how we use them 

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