The numbers game if you're waiting for an organ transplant

Sydney Morning Herald | Cosima Marriner

There are more people needing organ donations than there are people willing to donate. Photo: Louie Douvis

The odds aren't good if you need an organ transplant.

There are nearly five times the number of people waiting for an organ donation, as there are organ donors. And less than one per cent of people die in hospital in the specific conditions that make an organ donation possible.

Figures from the Australia and New Zealand Organ Donor Register show that there have been 419 deceased organ donors so far this year. This is ahead of the 378 people whose organs were donated after their death last year, resulting in 1317 organs being transplanted.

But there are 1583 people currently waiting for an organ donation. This includes 1120 people who need a kidney, 176 people waiting for a liver and 132 waiting for a lung. Kidneys account for nearly half of all organs transplanted. One organ donor can help ten or more people.

Brian Myerson, the director of organ donation community action group ShareLife, said there was a disconnect between the enthusiastic support for organ donation in the community and the actual consent rates, which he put down to how the process is handled in hospitals. Continue reading, and to view "Mohamed's dream". After waiting five years for an kidney donor, Mohamed Taleb Hawcher receives a phone call that changes his life.