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Locals encouraged to register as an organ donor

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Lung recipient Rhianna Johnson and Bundaberg Base Hospital's Organ Donation Specialist Nurse Karen Jenner.

Did you know just one new organ donor can save up to seven lives?

With over 1800 people in Australia currently waiting for a lifesaving organ transplant, there is no better time than now to register as an organ donor.

As part of DonateLife week, which runs from Sunday 24 July until Sunday 31 July, the Australian Organ Donor register is hoping to see over 100,000 new registrations.

Bundaberg Base Hospital’s Organ Donation Specialist Nurse Karen Jenner said last year’s DonateLife week saw the goal of new donors reached.

She hoped to push the number even higher this year.

“This year we are hoping to reach a new goal of over 100,000 people registering to become an organ donor,” Karen said.

“Last year, we saw 1800 people in Bundaberg alone register, so it would be great if we could beat that number this year.”

She said there was a number of people in the community who were eligible to be donors but may not know.

“There are 13 million Australians that are 16 years or older who are eligible to be on the register who have not registered,” she said.

“When I talk to people in the community, I find many people are not aware just how rare it is to be able to donate your organs.

“There are only two percent of people who pass away in hospital who have the ability to be an organ donor so it is not a huge pool of people out there who can donate their organs.

“We would love for everyone who is eligible to register as just one organ donor can save up to seven lives and more through tissue and bone donation, so it really is the gift of life.”

Karen said it was important that people are registered, so when the time came, more lives could be saved.

“Nine out of ten families will consent to organ donations if they know what their loved one wants, but unfortunately that drops to three out of ten when families are not sure,” she said.

“It is so easy to register, you just have to grab your Medicare card and head to donatelife.gov.au.

“A lot of people think it is still on your licence, as many years ago it was, but this isn’t the case anymore.”

You can find out more about DonateLife week or register to be an organ donor here.

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