Darling Downs regions with the most organ donors revealed this DonateLife week

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Nursing staff at Toowoomba Hospital

Nursing staff at Toowoomba Hospital

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This DonateLife Week, Australian Organ Donor Register (AODR) data has revealed the top five local government areas in Darling Downs with the most people signed up as organ and tissue donors.

In order, the top five Darling Downs LGA’s with the highest rates of registration are:

  • Goondiwindi (31%)
  • Toowoomba (28%)
  • Southern Downs (27%)
  • South Burnett (24%)
  • Western Downs (23%)

While last year was a record-breaking year for new registrations with around 350,000 Australians joining the AODR, up 87% on 2020, there is still more to be done to lift registration rates this DonateLife Week.

Around 30% of Queenslanders are registered to be organ and tissue donors, which is below the national average of 36%.

The problem isn’t that Australians are against organ and tissue donation – it’s that they don’t know how to, don’t think they’re healthy enough or simply haven’t got around to it yet.

Local organ and tissue donor coordinator and ICU nurse Elizabeth Hill said that with around 1,750 seriously ill people on Australia's organ transplant waitlist and another 13,000 people on dialysis who may benefit from a kidney transplant, the need to consider organ donation had never been greater.

“Any Australian aged 16 and over can sign up online. It doesn't matter how old you are, your medical history, your lifestyle, what country you’re from or how healthy you are – you can still register as an organ and tissue donor,” Ms Hill said.

“We know the biggest barrier to families saying ‘yes’ to donation is not knowing their family member wanted to be a donor.”

“In hospital, discussing organ and tissue donation comes at an intensely emotional time for families, usually when faced with the unexpected death of their loved one.”

“When donation is possible, it helps when families know what their loved one wanted. Across Australia, nine in 10 families say yes to donation when their loved one was a registered donor, but this number is halved when a person is not registered and has not shared their wishes with their family.”

The Great Registration Race for DonateLife Week is on now to encourage 100,000 more Australians to register.

One organ donor can save up to seven lives and help many more through eye and tissue donation.

Ms Hill said it's important for everyone in our community to get behind DonateLife Week, because in Australia there are 13 million people aged 16 and over who are eligible to register as organ and tissue donors – but haven’t.

“Turning that number around starts with every single person who registers this DonateLife Week. We’re aiming to get 100,000 more Australians signed on as organ and tissue donors and to give hope to the 1,750 Australians currently on the waitlist for an organ transplant,” she said.

It only takes one minute to register as an organ and tissue donor at donatelife.gov.au or just three taps in your Express Plus Medicare app. You can also use these channels to check and make sure you’re registered.

DonateLife Week runs from Sunday 24 July, until Sunday 31 July 2022.