Organ and Tissue Authority

2020 registration numbers

The importance of registration and family discussion

9/10

families gave consent for donation when their family member was a registered donor

7/10

families gave consent for donation when they knew their family member’s wishes

4/10

families gave consent for donation when their family member was not registered and had not discussed donation

  • Consideration of organ and tissue donation comes at an intensely emotional time for families, usually associated with the unexpected death of their loved one.
  • When donation is a possibility, it helps when families know what their loved one wanted.
  • In 2020, 89% of families agreed to donation when their family member was registered to donate on the Australian Organ Donor Register (AODR).
  • Consent for donation was given in 66% of cases when the family had prior knowledge of the wishes of their loved one.
  • This dropped to only 44% of families agreeing to donation when the family was unaware of their wishes.

Australian Organ Donor Register (AODR) registration rates by jurisdiction

  • While the majority of Australians support organ and tissue donation, one in three (34%) are registered to be a donor on the AODR.
  • Tasmania and South Australia have the highest consent rates (74% and 67% respectively). They also have high registration rates (48% and 71% respectively). Registering to become a donor and talking to your family about your decision has a direct influence on consent rates.
  • South Australia is the only state where individuals can register to be a donor on their driver’s licence.

New registrations by jurisdiction

2020

186,656

new registrations

2019

221,641

new registrations

Diff.

-16%

  • In 2020, there were 186,656 new registrations on the AODR, 16% fewer than 2019 (221,641).
  • Due to COVID-19 there were significantly fewer community events driving registrations.
  • There are now over 7 million people registered on the AODR. This is 34% of the eligible Australian population (i.e. aged 16 or over).

The importance of involving a donation specialist in discussions with families


  • There are around 265 donation specialist nurses, doctors and support staff covering 95 hospitals across Australia.
  • The donation specialists work with hospital critical care teams to ensure that, when appropriate, the opportunity for organ donation is offered to families.
  • A key factor to increasing consent are having donation raised by a donation specialist nurse or doctor, and providing families with high-quality information and care during the donation process.
  • In 2020, 62% Australian families agreed to donate when they were supported by a donation specialist (compared with 63% in 2019). This dropped to 24% when there was no donation specialist involved (compared with 30% in 2019).

6/10

families gave consent for donation when they were supported by a donation specialist


2/10

families gave consent for donation when there was no donation specialist involved


2020
2019
76%
70%
A donation specialist was involved in 76% of family conversations about donation compared with 70% in 2019