AS 1600 Australians wait for a lifesaving organ transplant, DonateLife Week (February 19-26) aims to encourage the families of every potential donor to confirm the wishes of their loved one.
Yesterday, registered nurse Lisa Warne visited Grafton Base Hospital to promote DonateLife Week to the Clarence Valley community.
She said the most important thing a potential donor can do to save lives is to make their family aware of their decision.
"When a family is aware of a relative's choice to be an organ donor they can honour their loved one's wishes and help save lives," Ms Warne said.
"I encourage anyone who wants to be an organ donor to talk to their families about it so their families can consent."
Of the 200,000-plus Australians registered as organ donors (Ms Warne included), less than 400 donate each year.
In 2011, 337 people donated organs, saving more than 1000 lives. Ms Warne believes sharing informed decisions on becoming a donor with family members will see an increase in the number of organ donations and lives saved each year.
To find out more about organ donation or to register online as a donor, visit donatelife.gov.au.
How organ and tissue donations save lives:
- Corneas can restore sight.
- Heart, liver and lung transplants immediately save lives by restoring good health.
- Pancreas transplants can cure type 1 diabetes.
- Kidney transplants cease dialysis reliance.