Australia sets benchmark for organ donation

Morgan Liotta

23/01/2019 3:16:09 PM

The country has seen a record rise in people joining the organ and tissue donor registry.

Latest data shows that organ donation has reached an all-time high in Australia.
Latest data shows that organ donation has reached an all-time high in Australia.

The Federal Government’s Organ and Tissue Authority (OTA) today confirmed that Australia has the greatest number of people donating their organs to date.
A record 1544 people received transplants in 2018, 144 more than in 2017.
Federal Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care Ken Wyatt, who is responsible for the OTA, applauded the national organ donation program – implemented by the OTA in July 2008 – as playing a significant part in the national transplant rates.
‘In the 10 years since the national program started, organ donation has more than doubled, saving almost twice the number of people through transplantation,’ Minister Wyatt said.
Fast online organ donor registrations were also introduced in July 2017, adding to the increase.
In the second half of 2018, the OTA put in to place a campaign targeting patients to raise community awareness of organ and tissue donation, as well as a campaign to encourage primary healthcare professionals to have the conversation with patients. Information packs were sent to 3600 general practices.
Minister Wyatt said providing this support to patients is a key contributor in organ donor uptake.
‘Records show that 75% of families say “yes” to donation when a donation specialist is involved in providing support and information to family members in the hospital,’ he said.
‘One of the key factors driving the increase in donations is a significant rise in the consent rate, from 59% in 2017 to 64% in 2018 – the highest rate ever recorded.’
Minister Wyatt described the increase in consent rates as ‘an international benchmark’, indicating the frequency of conversation around donations between healthcare professionals and next of kin, compared with the proportion of next of kin who agree to donation proceeding.
Key data from the OTA shows that:

  • donors were up from 510 in 2017 to 554 in 2018
  • transplants received were up from 1400 in 2017 to 1544 in 2018
  • new registrations were up from 182,563 in 2017 to 203,783 in 2018
  • kidney and liver were the top two types of organ transplants in 2018. 
The 2018 results place Australia in the top 15 countries in the world for organ donation.

Organ and Tissue Authority organ donor organ register transplant


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