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Organ donor numbers on the increase

Organ donor numbers on the increase

Organ donor numbers in New Zealand are on the way up this year.

So far, there have been 44 donors, compared to 36 last year and an average of 37 over the previous 21 years.

Organ Donation New Zealand (ODNZ) believes this has been helped by a quality improvement program it introduced in recent years, which is built around an Audit of all deaths in New Zealand public hospital intensive care units (ICUs).

The Audit is a confidential and anonymous record of all deaths in New Zealand public hospital ICUs and provides the ICUs and ODNZ with information about the potential for organ donation and the processes of organ donation in New Zealand.

New Zealand is one of only two countries in the world, the other being the UK, which has such a comprehensive national Audit.

The Audit is voluntary and is done with the cooperation of doctors and nurses in the ICUs. It reveals differences between the ICUs in the potential for organ donation, and in processes involved in organ donation.

The quality improvement program aims to increase organ donation by encouraging ICUs to look at their own data and processes with ODNZ and in comparison with those of all of the other ICUs and to ensure that, whenever there is a possibility of donation, that donation is sensitively discussed with the patients family, by a health professional with the necessary knowledge and skill.

Summary information from the Audit is being released today. No information about individual patients, their families or individual ICUs is included to protect patient and family confidentiality and the data collection process.
ODNZ, ICU staff, transplant services and the people who receive the donated organs are very grateful to families who have agreed to organ and tissue donation, usually amidst terrible grief at the time of tragic loss of a family member.

For further information visit the ODNZ website www.donor.co.nz

ENDS

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