2012 a Landmark Year for Organ Donation
22 January 2013 at 9:07 am
Not for Profit, Kidney Health Australia says the latest statistics from the Federal Government reveal 2012 as a landmark year for organ donation – resulting in more Australians receiving life-saving transplants than ever before.
The figures show kidney transplants in particular from deceased donors have reached an all-time high in 2012.
The health care charity says a total of 606 Australians on the waiting list for a kidney transplant received a new lease on life, due to the kindness of 317 deceased donors.
Overall, there was a five% increase of Australians donating organs in 2012 and a corresponding four% rise in transplant recipients from deceased donors, according to the figures released by the Australia and New Zealand Organ Donation Registry (ANZOD) and the Australian Organ and Tissue Authority.
“Kidney Health Australia is encouraged to see these numbers rise, because the truth is that only about seven per cent of people on dialysis get a kidney transplant from a deceased donor each year,” Kidney Health Australia’s Chief Executive Officer, Anne Wilson said.
“While the latest figures paint a positive picture of improvement, as of September 2012 there were still 1,068 people waiting for a kidney transplant in Australia. The national average waiting time for a kidney transplant is four years – meaning many Australians have to rely on regular dialysis to survive, impacting their ability to work, care for their families and travel.
“In light of this we need to continue the national conversation about organ donation.
“Only by discussing your organ donation intentions with your family can you ensure that your wishes are honoured. While it is a difficult conversation to have, it is one that could potentially save many lives.”
Kidney Health Australia says it supports the reforms made by all governments to move to a single national Australian Organ Donor Register.
“It certainly is heartening that as we come into our first year with all states giving priority to the Australian Organ Donation Register we are witnessing an improved result. The national registry approach promotes decision-making and discussion, and it is our strong hope that this year’s figures point to the start of a long-term trend of rising deceased organ donations,” Wilson said.