Sunday, February 18, 2007

Australians urged to register as an organ donor and give the gift of life.

Do you know 63% of all transplants are kidney-related?

The average wait for a kidney transplant in Australia is four years, with waits of up to seven years not uncommon. One person a week is dying whilst waiting for transplant, according to Kidney Health Australia.

Ann Wilson, Chief Executive Officer of Kidney Health Australia, said, “The number of new kidney failure patients commencing dialysis or transplant in 2005 was 2,210 representing an increase of 13% from the 1,950 people entering these programs in 2004. The number for 2005 was the highest ever recorded.

This is increasing pressure to lift organ donation rates with kidney transplants making up around 63% of all solid organ transplants in Australia in 2005.

Dr Tim Matthew, Medical Director of Kidney Health Australia, said that kidney transplantation is successful in 90% of cases and Australia has one of the best success rates of kidney transplant survival in the world.

“Sustained funding is needed at a federal and state level to support organ donation in hospitals which are working hard under the current collaborative program to increase the level of transplantation.

Patients on dialysis and their families are under great pressure waiting for the telephone call which could spell a new chance at life through a kidney transplant.”

My husband died in 2003, at 67 years of age, from a combination of end stage renal disease and end stage heart disease. My family and I are all to painfully aware of the great physical and emotional cost of kidney disease as well as the financial cost of treatment. My husband's renal failure resulted from high cholesterol.

Sue Bayliss. Cairns, Australia.

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