New data has revealed an urgent need for more Australians to register as organ and tissue donors.

As part of DonateLife Week, from July 24 to 31, Australian Organ Donor Register, AODR, has released data showing the percent of donors in each local government area.

It shows the top five to be Queenscliffe, 48 per cent; Indigo, 35 per cent; Surf Coast, 35 per cent; Murrindindi, 31 per cent, and Nillumbik, 31 per cent.

Close behind was Macedon Ranges Shire, with a total of 13,157 registered donors at the end of 2021, which is 30 per cent of its then 44,162 population.

Mitchell lags behind with 9238 registered donors, 22 per cent of its 41,177 population.

Nearing the bottom of the list was the City of Whittlesea, with 23,137 – 11 per cent of its 203,839 population.

While 2021 was a record-breaking year for new registrations with about 350,000 Australians joining the register, an increase of 87 per cent on 2020, AODR believes there is still more to be done to lift registration rates.

About 22 per cent of Victorians are registered to be organ donors, a figure below the national average of 36 per cent.

DonateLife Victoria medical director Dr Rohit D’Costa said the problem wasn’t that Victorians didn’t support organ donation, it was that either they didn’t know how to, didn’t think they were healthy enough or simply hadn’t got around to it.

“We know the biggest barrier to families saying ‘yes’ to donation is not knowing their family member wanted to be a donor,” he said.

“In hospital, discussing organ and tissue donation comes at an intensely emotional time for families – usually when faced with the unexpected death of their loved one.

“When donation is possible, it helps when families know what their loved one wanted.

“Across Australia, 9 in 10 families say yes to donation when their loved one was a registered donor, and this number is halved when a person is not registered and has not shared their wishes with their family.”

Any Australian aged 16 and over can sign up online for organ donation.

It doesn’t matter about age, medical history or lifestyle – people can register as an organ and tissue donor.

Dr D’Costa said AODR was aiming to for 100,000 more Australians to sign on as organ and tissue donors and to give hope to the 1750 Australians currently on the waitlist for an organ transplant.

The Great Registration Race for DonateLife Week is on now to encourage 100,000 more Australians to register.

One organ donor can save up to seven lives and help many more through eye and tissue donation.

It takes one minute to register as an organ and tissue donor at donatelife.gov.au or three taps in your Express Plus Medicare app. People can also check they’re registered via the same channels.

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