All you need to know about organ donation

Highlights

  • Organ donation takes place after the death of the donor.
  • Donation from a living person is possible in the case of partial liver and kidneys donation.
  • Organ donation or transplantation helps save lives, restore health, improve life quality, and offer significant cost benefits to the health system

In Australia, over 1,600 people are currently on the waiting list for transplantation. However, Australia is not the only country facing a shortfall in organ and tissue donation. The gap between the available supply of and demand for organs and tissues for transplantation is worldwide. This has led to the introduction of various initiatives, including Jersey Day, to improve donation rates.

Jersey Day is a national-level campaign about raising awareness for becoming an organ and tissue donor; there is no requirement to raise funds. Moreover, health care service providers, including physicians, encourage organ donation regularly.

In organ transplantation, the organs are taken from a donor and then transplanted in a patient listed on the transplant waiting list. Thus, the doners of tissues help transform lives through tissue and eye donations.

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Australia’s organ donation rate has more than doubled during the past two decades, with the transplantation rate increasing by over 80%. However, with the impacts of COVID-19, both the number of people receiving a transplant and the number of donors reduced compared to 2019.

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Origin of Jersey Day

In Australia, students and employees wear their chosen sporting jersey on each Jersey Day and start the conversation with their family and friends about the significance of donating organs or tissue.

The Gremmo family started Jersey Day to encourage the gift of life through organ donation. Nathan Gremmo, who became an organ donor at the age of 13, donated his organs to six people.

Why is organ donation important?

Organ donation and transplantation are removing an organ from one person and surgically placing that organ in the person whose organ has failed. The organs that can be transplanted include the pancreas, heart, liver, and kidney.

The donation of organs and tissue can save the lives of lots of people, and depending on the organ or tissue, and people can donate during their life or after death. Notably, the organ donation process extends a person’s life expectancy who is suffering from organ failure. But, sadly, the number of patients requiring organ transplants outstrips available organ donors.

People who require transplantation are typically very sick or dying because of multiple organ failures. In addition, many people on the organ transplant waiting list have a genetic indication or sudden organ damage that will make people very sick and in need of immediate transplantation.

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Organ donation or transplantation can save lives, restore health, improve quality of life, and offer significant cost benefits to the health system compared with alternative treatment options.

Bottom Line

Organ donation by living donors helps save the lives of many people, enhances the transplantation consequences under some circumstances, and lowers the waiting times of recipients. Besides, it also raises the opportunities for patients who face difficulty finding living donors to get organs from deceased donors.

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