Urgent call after COVID-19 reduces organ stocks
Organ donors have become even more vital in the wake of COVID with closed borders and cancelled flights causing chaos for the important medical miracle.
Experts say the pandemic has impacted the Federal Government's program to increase organ donation rates, sparking an urgent call for more registrations from the Organ and Tissue Authority.
"The impacts on hospitals and logistics with flight cancellations and border closures have made a mark," an authority spokeswoman said.
"It is already a rare event for a person to receive a donor organ and we call on Australians to consider putting in their organ donor registrations. While most Australians support organ donation only one in three are registered."
One organ donor can save the lives of up to seven people and help many more though eye and tissue donation.
In Australia 1700 are on the waitlist for a and a further 12,000 people are on dialysis and could benefit from a live-saving transplant.
"The more people who register the more chance these people have for a lifesaving transplant as only two per cent of people who die in an Australian hospital can be considered for organ donation," the spokeswoman said.
To be an organ donor a person must die in a hospital's intensive case unit or emergency department and be medically assessed for transplantation.
Each year 80,000 people die in hospitals but only 1300 of those would be potential donors.
"There is also a stumbling block where families have not been notified of the person's intention to donate organs and when they are approached at one of the most difficult times of their life it can be too difficult," she said.
A DonateLife research report highlighted that 93 per cent of families who knew their loved one wanted to be an organ or tissue donor when they died, made it easier for them to say "yes" to donation.
The study also showed that organ and tissue donation helped families in their grief and provided meaning to their loss, with 89 per cent of the donor families finding comfort in their loved ones' donation.
"It only takes a minute to register at donatelife.gov.au. All you need is your Medicare number. We also call on people to double-check their registration if they're unsure and most importantly to have the chat with their loved ones so they know what you want," the Organ and Tissue Authority representative said.
HOW TO REGISTER TO BE AN ORGAN DONOR
It only takes 60 seconds to save up to seven people, if you have your Medicare card.
1. Visit donatelife.gov.au
2. Click Register Today
3. Fill in your Medicare details, date of birth, postcode and email address
4. Select what prompted you to register, click Submit
Originally published as Urgent call after COVID-19 reduces organ stocks