Understanding Organ Donation

More New Zealanders are choosing organ donation than ever before, with over $1,850,000 drivers ticking the 'yes' box on their driver licence this year.

However, what many donors may not know is that even though donor information is recorded on your driver licence , at the time of death, the decision to donate your organs lies with your family.

New Zealand's Organ Donation programme thus far is showing good results, with 53 deceased organ donors recorded in 2015, up 15% from the 46 donors in 2014 and a 47% increase from the 36 donors in 2013. In 2015 there were also 78 live donors who donated a kidney or a part of the liver to 78 recipients.

These 53 deceased organ donors donated organs (heart, lungs, liver, kidney or pancreas) to 158 transplant recipients  in 2015, a 14% increase from the 138 recipients in 2014. As a result of both deceased donors and live donors, the number of New Zealand organ transplant recipients rose  to 232 in 2015 (the largest number ever) from 214 in 2014- an 8% increase.

Organ Donation NZ says the most important step when you have made a decision about becoming an organ donor is to tell your family your wishes and let them know which organ and tissues you are willing to donate. They also recommend finding out what other members of your family want.

If you are wondering why to donate, you don't have to look far within Kids Foundation to find families whose lives have been changed forever through organ donation. There is no greater gift than a second chance at life.

www.donor.co.nz ;  Organ Donation New Zealand

0800 4 DONOR