Slow grind for 2012
A steady increase in organ donation was recorded during 2012, according to new data released by the Organ and Tissue Authority.
Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Ageing, Catherine King welcomed the release of the Authority’s 2012 Performance Report, saying that last year the generosity of 354 organ donors and their families who agreed to donation gave 1,052 Australians a second chance at life.
“While we were aiming for an even greater increase during 2012, it is important that we have continued the rise in the donation and transplantation rates,” Ms King said.
“We will continue to set challenging targets for organ donation increases in coming years to ensure we absolutely maximise the opportunities for life saving transplantations for many more Australians.”
She said the 2012 figures were five per cent higher than in 2011, while the national donation rate increased to 15.6 donors per million population – an increase of 38 per cent since 2009 when the Organ and Tissue Authority was established.
“While acknowledging the steady growth in organ and tissue donation and transplantation outcomes in 2012, there is still considerable work to be done to increase the opportunities for those whose only hope for a future is the gift of a transplant,” she said.
Ms King said Tasmania, the Northern Territory, Queensland and the ACT all achieved their highest ever annual donation outcomes in 2012.
“One of the greatest challenges clinical staff face is asking the families of potential donors to make a decision about agreeing to donation so soon after a loved one has died, often suddenly and unexpectedly,” she said.
“More than 390 clinical staff received intensive training in 2012 in the most appropriate ways to sensitively conduct conversations with potential donor families and requesting consent for donation.
“We continue to urge every Australian family to ask and know the donation wishes of each family member.”
The Organ and Tissue Authority’s 2012 Performance Report can be accessed at this PS News link.
Edition 345F, 25 January 2013