It’s DonateLife Week: New data reveals urgent need for more Queenslanders to register as organ donors.
This DonateLife Week (24-31 July) Australian Organ Donor Register (AODR) data reveals the top five local government areas (LGAs) across the Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service region with the most people signed up as organ and tissue donors.
In order, the top LGA’s with the highest rates of registration in our region are:
- Noosa 19374.9 residents registered - (35%) of population
- Sunshine Coast 99383.7 residents registered - (34%) of population
- Gympie 12675.4 residents registered - (27%) of population
While last year was a record-breaking year for new registrations with around 350,000 Australians (almost 74,000 of those were Queenslanders) joining the AODR, up 87% on 2020, there is clearly more to be done to lift registration rates this DonateLife Week.
Around 30% of Queenslanders are registered to be organ and tissue donors, a figure below the national average of 36%.
We know this isn’t because people in Queensland don’t support organ and tissue donation – they do.
In fact, a recent poll of 60,000 Australians (ABC Talks 2021) showed 4 out of 5 say they’d be willing to donate their organs when they die.
So, the problem isn’t that Australians are against organ and tissue donation – it’s that they don’t know how to, don’t think they’re healthy enough or simply haven’t got around to it yet.
Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service, Donation Specialist Nurse, Shona McDonald, said today that with around 1,750 seriously ill people on Australia's organ transplant waitlist and another 13,000 people on dialysis who may benefit from a kidney transplant, the need to consider organ donation had never been greater.
“Any Australian aged 16 and over can sign up online. It doesn't matter how old you are, your medical history, your lifestyle, what country you’re from or how healthy you are – you can still register as an organ and tissue donor,” she said.
“We know the biggest barrier to families saying ‘yes’ to donation is not knowing their family member wanted to be a donor,” Ms McDonald said.
“In hospital, discussing organ and tissue donation comes at an intensely emotional time for families – usually when faced with the unexpected death of their loved one.
“When donation is possible, it helps when families know what their loved one wanted. Across Australia, nine in 10 families say yes to donation when their loved one was a registered donor, and this number is halved when a person is not registered and has not shared their wishes with their family.”
The Great Registration Race for DonateLife Week is on now to encourage 100,000 more Australians to register. One organ donor can save up to seven lives and help many more through eye and tissue donation.
“It's really important that everyone in our local community gets behind DonateLife Week, because right now in Australia there are 13 million people aged 16 and over who are eligible to register as organ and tissue donors – but haven’t.
“Turning that number around starts with every single person who registers this DonateLife Week. We’re aiming to get 100,000 more Australians signed on as organ and tissue donors and to give hope to the 1,750 Australians currently on the waitlist for an organ transplant.
It only takes one minute to register as an organ and tissue donor at donatelife.gov.au or just three taps in your Express Plus Medicare app. You can also use these channels to check and make sure you’re registered.
DonateLife Week runs from Sunday 24 July, until next Sunday 31 July.
Register via: https://www.donatelife.gov.au/register-donor-today