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New data report shows record registrations despite impact of COVID-19

New data report shows record registrations despite impact of COVID-19
New data report shows record registrations despite impact of COVID-19

Today the Minister responsible for the OTA, Dr David Gillespie released the 2021 Australian Donation and Transplantation Activity Report providing data on Australia’s donation and transplantation rates.

The report includes year in review and comparison data on organ, eye and tissue donation and transplantation. It also provides data on Australia’s consent rates, registration numbers and information that explains why donation is such a rare gift.

There were 350,000 more Aussies who got behind DonateLife in 2021 (up 87% on 2020), registering to be organ and tissue donors in record numbers. They join the 7 million other Australians (36%) already on the Australian Organ Donor Register in support of donation.

Importantly, there were 1,174 Australians who receiving an organ transplant in 2021, thanks to the generosity of 421 deceased organ donors and their families.

This means there was a 9% decrease in the number of deceased organ donors and a 7% decrease in the number of people receiving an organ transplant due to the impact of COVID-19.

Despite the drop, donation and transplants continued throughout the year, testament to a highly skilled workforce who helped to minimise risks.

DonateLife teams worked with transplant teams to navigate the challenges created by COVID-19 – including pressures on hospitals, staff impacts, restricted family visits in hospitals, and logistics impacting the national program, such as flight reductions and border closures.

There were 200 people who received a kidney from a living donor in 2021, more than 2,400 people with restored eyesight through a corneal transplant, and over 10,000 people who received tissue (e.g., musculoskeletal, heart, skin) transplants – all thanks to the life-changing gift of donation.

We’d like to acknowledge and thank all donors and express heartfelt thanks to their families who said “yes” to donation last year.

There is currently around 1,850 people who are waitlisted for an organ transplant, and an additional 13,000 people on dialysis – some who may need a kidney transplant one day.

The best chance to help those on the waitlist is to have more Australians say “yes” to donation – both to registering and consenting to donation in the hospital if there is the opportunity to donate.

Data shows that 9 out of 10 families consent to donation if their loved one is registered, but this drops to 4 out of 10 if they don’t know what their what they wanted.

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