Australian organ donations at record levels

Peter Terlato 16 January 2017 NEWS

organ donation heart hands life

17% year-on-year rise in life-saving transplants in 2016.

2016 was a fortuitous year for Australian organ recipients, owing to the generosity of more than 500 deceased donors and their families.

A record 1,448 Aussies received a life-saving transplant last year, a 17% increase over 2015 figures.

This was helped by a 16% year-on-year increase in the number of deceased organ donors.

Since the beginning of the national reform program in 2009 there has been an 81% rise in the number of transplant recipients, while the number of deceased organ donors has more than doubled.

There were also 267 living donors in 2016, representing a 9% year-on-year rise.

These comprised two liver donors and 265 kidney donors, including 44 donations through the Australian Paired Kidney Exchange (AKX) program.

AKX helps match patients with willing donors, assisting in 198 successful kidney transplants since 2010.

"The decision to donate is one of the most selfless acts, not only for the person receiving a lifesaving transplant but their families, friends and the communities they live in," Assistant Minister for Health and Aged Care Ken Wyatt said.

The 2016 Australian Donation and Transplantation Activity Report will be released in February.

You can list your intentions on the Australian Organ Donor Register.

From the beginning of 2017 the French government changed its laws to make every French citizen a presumed organ and tissue donor unless they add their names to a National Register of Refusal.

The latest study investigating the future of medicine reveals Aussies are enthusiastic about the potential applications of artificial intelligence (AI) within the health care system, including diagnosis and treatment.

Trying to decide which hospital option is better for you? It's sensible to compare public and private cover, consider wait times and safety and understand how to claim health insurance when visiting.

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