Organ and Tissue Authority

Generous Tasmanians saving lives at record levels

Article Date: 

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

The DonateLife State Medical Director Dr Andrew Turner has today revealed that Tasmania is leading the country with the organ and tissue donation outcomes achieved in 2017. In a report released by The Organ and Tissue Authority, it shows Tasmania supported 19 organ and tissue donors in 2017, representing a 73% increase from 11 donors in 2016. This translates to a rate of 36.5 donors per million population, which is the highest ever rate achieved in Australia, well above the national average of 20.7 dpmp.

Dr Turner attributes this achievement to several key points, “We are fortunate that the Tasmanian community is very generous by nature. We gratefully acknowledge all Tasmanian organ and tissue donors and their families for the incredible gift that donation provides to the community, to save and improve the lives of people waiting for a transplant.”

“Tasmania is resourced by a network of hospitals, health care professionals and very dedicated clinical staff, who all contribute to donation now being considered as part of end of life care.” said Dr Turner.

“Having trained donation specialists in our hospitals is critical to achieving these outcomes, to support donor families through the incredibly challenging time when they are asked to provide consent to honour their loved one’s donation wishes.”

Dr Turner acknowledges the Tasmanian community has developed an increasing capacity to discuss sensitive issues such as organ and tissue donation. “This is a key factor in the state achieving a high rate of donor registration, with 49 % of the population over 16 years old already registered on the Australian Organ Donor Register. This is the second highest rate in the country,” Dr Turner continued.

Whilst this is great news for all Tasmanians, Dr Turner is urging anyone who is not registered to make their donation decision count by joining the Australian Organ Donor Register online at donatelife.gov.au.

“There are 1,400 Australians waitlisted at any one time for a transplant, and a further 11,000 people on dialysis.”

“It is now faster and easier than ever to register your donation decision on the Register from any mobile device, tablet or computer by visiting donatelife.gov.au where you can register in minutes”, said Dr Turner.

“Registering your donation decision is important because it leaves your family in no doubt of your decision to save lives as an organ and tissue donor. We know more families agree to donation when their loved one was a registered donor, with 9 in 10 families consenting to donation proceeding when their loved one was a registered donor.”