There are almost 2,000 people on the national waiting list for organs and tissues. Some of them will die waiting. By being an organ donor, you are giving the gift of life. One donor can improve the lives of up to 10 people. To become a donor, please talk to your family and friends about your decision to donate. The decision to donate should be voluntary and free of feeling ‘pressured’.

You can register online at the Organ Donor Registry, or phone 1800 777 203.

Advantage of Living Donation

  • Reduces the time the patient has to spend on dialysis;
  • Transplant can be scheduled to suit donors and recipients;
  • A living organ can function immediately; and
  • Donations are generally more well matched if it is done by related family members. This reduces the amount of immuno suppressive medication the recipient has to take.

Who Can Donate

  • Donations can be from related relatives or an unrelated person;
  • Donors can be of any gender;
  • Donors must be an adult over 18 years of age; and
  • Donors must be in good health.

After a successful transplant, most donors recover quickly and can resume normal activities within 4-6 weeks. Activities such as sport will take longer. It is recommended that donors have annual blood pressure, blood and urine testing.

Having one kidney does not –

  • Affect the woman’s ability to have children;
  • Change life expectancy; and
  • Increase the risk of having kidney disease.

How successful are transplants?

As medicine continues to advance, the success rate of transplants continues to improve. However, there may be some complications that could occur such as rejection, surgical complication and the original disease that caused Kidney disease in the first place.

Other form of donations

  • Donating after death;
  • Blood or bone marrow;
  • Make a donation; and
  • Donate your time as a Volunteer.

The facts on organ donation

Most people think that death occurs when the heart stops beating. This is called cardiac death.  Death, however, can also occur when the brain stops functioning. This is called brain death. The way a person dies will depend on which organs and tissues can be donated.

Cardiac Death

Three things happen when cardiac death occurs.

  1. The heart stops beating and cannot be restarted.
  2. The person stops breathing.
  3. The brain then stops functioning because it has been starved of oxygen.

People who die in this way can donate tissues such as heart valves, bones, corneas and skin up to 24 hours after they die.

Brain Death

The same things occur when a person is brain dead but they occur in a different order.

  1. The brain stops functioning because it’s deprived of oxygen (as a result of injury and/or swelling).
  2. Breathing stops because the brain is dead.
  3. Finally the heart stops beating.  The person is dead.  He or she cannot recover.

Donate Organs

To be able to donate organs such as heart, lungs, liver, kidneys and pancreas, a person must be brain dead, on a ventilator (artificial breathing machine) and in hospital. Without a supply of oxygen from the ventilator, these organs would not be suitable for transplantation.

Click here! to learn more about organ donation and how you can save a life.