The data released by the Australian & New Zealand Organ Donation Registry
for the period 1 January to 30 November 2010
demonstrate that the community of the Australian Capital Territory and surrounding districts is one that cares. The data show that this is our best ever year with ten multi organ donors to date. Our previous high for a whole year was nine multi organ donors.
November 2010 was also another record month for Australia with 31 multi organ donors bringing the annual total to 289. There were 247 multi organ donors in 2009 and 259 donors in 2008.
The ten donations from the ACT led to a saving or improvement of life for 32 Australians. We continue to be grateful to the ten families who had discussed their organ donation intentions with their loved ones and who were able to make such a selfless decision at the time of their loved one's death.
The other big improvements in organ donation rates have been seen in New South Wales and Tasmania. NSW has already had 80 multi organ donors (compared with 69 for the whole of 2009 and 57 for 2008) resulting in 244 transplants. Tasmania, like the ACT, has had 10 multi organ donors resulting in 27 transplants. Victoria's numbers are well up also, with 80 generous multi organ donors resulting in 270 life saving transplants. We need our biggest jurisdictions working as well as they possibly can if we are to sustain a steady improvement in donor numbers.
For the ACT, the important statistic is that we now have over 19 donors per million population, a pleasing result indeed.
All of this improvement could not be achieved without the commitment of donor families and the leadership of the jurisdictional medical directors. We single out Dr Imogen Mitchell (ACT), Dr Jonathan Gillis (NSW), Dr Helen Opdam (Victoria) and Dr Andrew Turner (Tasmania). Of course the leadership shown by the Transplant Authority generally and the National Medical Director, Dr Gerry O'Callaghan, in particular has been an important part of the improvement in outcomes.
Thank you to everyone involved in this considerable success.