Organ and tissue donation for transplant

Donating organs and tissue for transplantation can save people’s lives, one organ and tissue donor can transform the lives of many people.

It is important to discuss your wishes about organ donation with your family.

Talk with your family

It is important that your loved ones know that you are willing to be a donor. Whether you’re a registered donor or not, your family will be asked to confirm your wishes before donation can proceed.

According to DonateLife, 9 out of 10 families agree to donation when their loved one is a registered donor. This drops to 4 in 10 if the person did not register and the family is unsure whether they were willing to be a donor.

Have the conversation with your family today. Read more about the donation process on the DonateLife website.

Saving lives

The decision to donate your organs and tissue could save and improve the lives of many people.

Almost everyone can donate organs and tissue; while age and medical history will be considered, you shouldn’t assume you are too young, too old, or not healthy enough to become a donor.

Organs that can be transplanted include:

  • heart
  • lung
  • liver
  • kidney
  • pancreas
  • pancreas islet.

Tissues that can be transplanted include:

  • heart valves and other heart tissue
  • blood veins
  • bone
  • veins
  • tendons
  • ligaments
  • skin
  • part of the eye.

Learn more about what can be donated.

How to register your organ and tissue donation decision

The Australian Organ Donor Register (AODR) is a national register to enable people to record their decision to become an organ and tissue donor.

To register your donation decision on the AODR, you can:

  • register through the online form on the DonateLife website
  • register using your existing myGov account
  • register or update your details via the ExpressPlus Medicare mobile app
  • download and post a New registration, change or removal of donation decision details form from the Services Australia (formerly the Department of Human Services).

Organ allocation

Organ allocation is a complex and time-critical process guided by a range of factors such as medical need, urgency, donor/recipient suitability and logistical factors.

Organs such as the heart, lungs, liver and pancreas are matched to recipients by blood group, size, compatibility and urgency.

For Queensland transplant patients and Queensland donors, the Tissue Typing laboratory in Pathology Queensland carries out matching studies.  All Australian states and territories participate in a national matching system called OrganMatch.

OrganMatch is managed by the Australian Red Cross Lifeblood and is the system that manages national wait listing for all organs and determines the most appropriate immunological match for our transplant patients.

Organ transplant waiting lists

In Australia, organ transplant waiting lists are kept for heart, lungs, kidneys, liver, intestine and pancreas.

To be on a waiting list for an organ transplant, patients are referred to a transplant unit for assessment and they must meet eligibility requirements. These eligibility requirements are to ensure equitable, fair and transparent access to transplantation.

Waiting times are subject to the availability of suitable donated organs and the allocation of organs through the transplant waiting lists.

Further information

For more information, contact DonateLife Queensland on 07 3176 2350 or go to the DonateLife Queensland website.