Have the chat that saves lives during DonateLife Week 2015

GV Health is urging Shepparton families to talk about organ and tissue donation with their loved ones during DonateLife Week, 2 to 9 August 2015, Australia’s national awareness week to promote organ and tissue donation.

Last year, 1,117 Australian lives were transformed through the generosity of 378 deceased organ donors and their families who agreed to donation proceeding.

Nearly 4,000 tissue donors helped to improve the lives of more than 5,500 tissue transplant recipients, some receiving multiple grafts.

Carolyn Hargreaves, Nurse Donation Specialist at GV Health said it is important to help the 1,600 currently on the organ transplant waiting list.

“Only around one per cent of hospital deaths occur in the specific circumstances where organ donation is possible, although many more people can become tissue donors.

“To optimise every potential organ and tissue donor, we each need to have the chat with our family members so that we know each other’s donation decision. Having the chat can make a life-saving difference to people waiting for a transplant. It can be the difference between seeing and being blind, mobility and never walking again,” said Carolyn.

In the same way that we discuss what we want to have happen in the event of our death, we also need to talk about whether we would like to become an organ and tissue donor.

“It’s a conversation we can have today, that helps prepare our loved ones should they be offered the opportunity to proceed with organ and tissue donation.

“With one organ and tissue donor able to transform the lives of 10 or more people, it’s a conversation that could one day save lives,” said Carolyn.

In Australia, the family will always be asked to confirm the donation decision of their loved one before donation for transplantation can proceed. Families that have discussed and know each other’s donation decisions are much more likely to support donation proceeding.

DonateLife Week is led by the Organ and Tissue Authority as part of the national DonateLife campaign and supported by community events and activities across Australia.

For more information, visit donatelife.gov.au or contact Carolyn Hargreaves on 0418 103 858 or carolyn.hargreaves@gvhealth.org.au.