Lives saved: Lung transplant recipients Steve Kinson and Jennifer Vagg with nurse donation specialist Larna Woodyatt at Ballarat Health Services. Photo: FILE

The race to DonateLife is on

July 29, 2021 BY

THE Great Registration Race campaign is running this DonateLife Week.

Running until Sunday, 1 August, the campaign is encouraging Australians to join the organ and tissue donation register.

DonateLife Victoria nurse donation specialist Larna Woodyatt said the organisation hopes to see 100,000 more people signed up by the end of August.

“While nine out of 10 Australians support organ donation, only one in three are registered,” she said.

“A lot of Australians think they’re registered, but they actually aren’t, so we’re encouraging everyone who thinks they’re registered to take a minute to double check.

“Registering and checking can be done at donatelife.gov.au/register.”

Ms Woodyatt said approximately 1800 people nationwide are waiting for an organ transplant that would save their life.

The best thing community members can do to support these patients is to simply register, and let their loved ones know, who will give final consent in any potential end-of-life donation situation.

“Register and talk to your family about your decision. It means that in the unfortunate event that a family finds themselves considering organ donation for you as their loved one, it will be much easier,” she said.

“In regional settings, including Ballarat, we see usually see our numbers increasing all the time, but COVID has affected everything, including organ and tissue donation registrations, so that’s another reason why we’re encouraging people to join register as soon as possible.”

Less than two per cent of deaths in hospitals occur in a way where donation is possible, yet hundreds of lives are are saved in Australia annually due to registered donors who took a minute or two, with their Medicare card in-hand, to sign up online.

“It’s simple, but it’s lifesaving,” Ms Woodyatt said.

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