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NSW residents saving lives as organ donation rates climb

29 January 2014
Health Minister Skinner has welcomed news of a significant increase in organ donation and transplantation rates in NSW saying there was a 16 per cent rise in donors in 2013.
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Mrs Skinner said in NSW, 102 people donated their organs, compared to 88 in 2012.

The latest figures confirmed by the Australia and New Zealand Organ Donation Registry (ANZOD) show that NSW experienced a 16 per cent increase in actual donors in 2013.

This resulted in a 20 per cent increase in the number of organs transplanted in NSW, while nationally organ transplantation increased by six per cent.

Mrs Skinner said it was pleasing to see more families discussing organ donation as it is these conversations that lead to more lives being saved every year in NSW.

In August 2012, the NSW Government released Increasing Organ Donation in NSW: Government Plan 2012 to bolster low rates of organ donation in the state.

Initiatives of the plan include:

  • The closure of the NSW Roads and Maritime Services (formerly RTA) organ donor register, moving to the single national Australian Organ Donor Register administered by Medicare;
  • Increasing community education and awareness campaigns to encourage people to have discussions with their families about organ donation;
  • Employing specialists doctors and nurses in hospitals to support families through the donation process
  • Promoting living donor programs

“It’s encouraging to see that the NSW Government’s Increasing Organ Donation in NSW: Government Plan 2012 is successfully bolstering donation rates in our state,” Mrs Skinner said.

“Up until now the most donors NSW has had in a single year is 88. It is clear from the 2013 increased figures that more people are having the conversation about organ donation.

“I pay tribute to the 102 NSW organ donors and their families who supported their loved ones decision to donate last year as well as the dedicated clinical staff who made these transplants possible.

“Both nationally and in NSW, there is progress on meeting annual targets. Australia achieved 94.4 per cent of its donor numbers target of 414, while NSW achieved 93.6 per cent of its donor numbers target of 109,” Mrs Skinner said.

“Organ donation is a rare event. Only about one per cent of people who die in hospital can be organ donors, which is why it is so important for families to know their loved one’s wishes.

“I urge all families to discuss organ donation and register their decision on the Australian Organ Donor Register,” Mrs Skinner said.

“These new figures are incredibly encouraging and there is still much to be done to ensure our organ donation and transplantation rates continue to grow.

“One organ and tissue donor can transform the lives of ten or more people. One conversation with your family today could one day save the lives of many,” Mrs Skinner said.

For more information, visit the DonateLife website.

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