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Recycling Organs for New Life

Recycling Organs for New Life

Organ donation is the great Aussie contradiction. We can do this! 

There are some things that brand us Aussies. We love sun, surf, a meat pie and we don't donate organs. What is that? Aussies are among the friendliest and most generous nations on earth and yet we rank 22nd in the world for organ donation. 

Aussies are the first to help out a mate and yet only 18.3 people in a million donate organs. That is kind of staggering, especially since that result is actually an improvement.

The thing is that there is still no where near enough donated organs to meet demand. At any one time, there are about 1500 people on a transplant waiting list and many more on dialysis or who have not yet made the list. In 2015, for the full year, there were: 

   703 kidney transplants 

   264 liver transplants 

   95 heart transplants 

   47 pancreas transplants 

   195 lung transplants 

Organs that can be transplanted include the heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, intestine and pancreas. Tissues that can be transplanted include heart valves and other heart tissue, bone, tendons, ligaments, skin and parts of the eye, such as the cornea and sclera.  

Donate Life's website gives you all the information you could ever need to understand, make a decision or to assist with supporting a family member of friend. 

Something that is understandable and important to know is that when a family knows a person is a registered donor, in 91% of cases, families agree to donation proceeding. This drops to just 52% if the deceased was not registered and the family had no prior knowledge of their wishes. It is extremely important to discuss your intentions with your family or someone in a decision making capacity, should you pass. 

I signed up. It finally occurred to me that it could be me needing an organ one day. 

Photos: Donate Life

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