Today I wanted to do a post on something that there is nowhere near enough of in this country. Organ Donors.
As I type this there are around 1600 people desperately waiting for organs.
There are a lot of myths surrounding organ donation but here are a couple of facts that might prompt you into action.
1600 patients waiting does not sound like a high number at all, although it is still 1600 too many. Most would consider with the number of organ donors who have registered that those waiting would receive the organs they require pretty quickly.
Alas, this is not the case.
In 2012 there were only 354 donors of organs in the whole of Australia.
You may think that number is a gross exaggeration, surely there must have been more than that you would think. However the sad fact is there wasn’t.
The facts are that very few people who have consented to organ donation die in circumstances where their organs are able to be used. In order to use an organ doctors need to be able to remove it quickly and in a sterile environment, which pretty much means that someone has to pass away in a hospital to be able to donate.
This significantly reduces the odds for the needy hopeful recipient.
In fact it is only around 1% of those who consent to organ donation that will end up in a position to give someone else the greatest gift of all, and this is purely down to their location or circumstances when passing away.
To make matters worse over 40% of those people still end up not donating organs because their family override their decision to donate. This is not for any bitter and twisted reasons it is purely because they are not entirely sure of their deceased relatives wishes to donate and so play it safe and do not allow the donation to take place.
This is why choosing to be an organ donor should not be kept secret, in fact quite the opposite. In order to give the gift of life donors need to ensure people know about their decision to be a giver, particularly their family.
For a surgeon whose entire career revolves around saving lives on a daily basis there must be few things more heartbreaking than having access to a willing donor taken away from them because the prospective donor never got around to telling their family.
For those who are unsure how to raise the subject with their family, or just what to say, the good people at Donate Life have produced a booklet which can be viewed as a PDF via the link below.
To those who wish to register to donate you can register online via this link, phone 1800 777 203, visit a Medicare Service Centre or your local GP should also have registration forms.
Even if you have ticked the box on your driver’s license it is still important that you register, in fact in NSW the previous register held by NSW Roads and Maritime Services has been decommissioned.
The Australian Organ Donor is the only national register, and the only register than is linked to your Medicare number, and it can also be accessed 24 hours a day by medical staff.
For those seeking more information on organ donation and transplants I can suggest checking out the two Facebook pages linked below as a starting point.
We live in the “Lucky Country”, so pass on some good luck today by registering to become an organ donor.
It will be the best decision you make all day and it could well be the greatest two gifts you will ever give.
Life and hope.