About organ donation and why you should consider it
People who need an organ or tissue transplant are usually very sick or dying, because one or more of their organs are failing. About 4 300 people are waiting for a life-saving organ or cornea transplant in South Africa. Organ donation is a medical procedure where one person donates an organ, or tissue, to another person who needs a transplant. Unfortunately, only 0,2% of our population are registered organ donors.
Saving and transforming lives
One organ donor can save up to 7 lives and change over 50 lives. Your heart, liver and pancreas can save 3 lives and your kidneys and lungs can help up to 4 people. In fact, you can help up to 50 people by donating your corneas, skin, bone and heart valves.
A person decides that after his/her own death, someone else should benefit from healthy organs and tissue through transplantation. Live donations, such as kidney transplants, are often done between family members because the blood groups and tissue types are more compatible. This ensures a high success rate.
Who can become a donor?
You can become a donor if you’re under the age 70 and if you’re in good health. Also, you should not have predefined chronic diseases that might cause further health complications for the recipient(s).
You can register as an organ donor by contacting the Organ Donor Foundation toll-free line at 0800 22 66 11, or registering online. The most important thing is to talk to your family. Inform them of your wish to become an organ donor. They have to give their approval to procure your organs for transplantation.
Transplant statistics in South Africa:
391 solid organ transplants broken down into the following:
Hearts: 38 adults & 4 Paediatric
Lungs: 23 adults
Livers: 49 adults, 29 paediatric of which:
14 paediatric were live related
Kidneys: 212 adults, 18 paediatrics of which:
66 adults, 8 paediatric transplants were live related
31 adult and 1 paediatric transplants was live non-related
Pancreas: 8 adults
371 solid organ transplants broken down into the following:
Hearts: 31 adults
Lungs: 9 adults
Simultaneous Heart/ Lung: 1 adult
Livers: 51 adults and 24 paediatric of which:
7 adult were live related
Kidneys: 230 adults 23 paediatrics of which:
73 adults and11 live related paediatric transplants
40 live non-related adult kidney transplants
Pancreas: 2 adults
There were 512 organ and cornea transplants.
361 of these were solid organ transplants broken down into the following:
Hearts: 23 adults & 2 Paediatric
Lungs: 14 adults
Livers: 40 adults, 4 adolescents and 21 paediatric of which:
1 adult & 14 paediatric were live related
Simultaneous kidney/liver: 3 adult & 1 paediatric
Kidneys: 234 adults, 3 adolescent & 12 paediatrics of which:
86 adults, 2 adolescents & 4 live related paediatric transplants
26 adult live non-related kidney transplants
37% of kidney donors related to the recipient
Pancreas: 1 adult
Simultaneous kidney/pancreas: 3 paediatric
151 adults, adolescents and children had their sight restored through a cornea transplant.
There were 548 organ and cornea transplants.
369 of these were solid organ transplants broken down into the following:
Hearts: 27 adults
Lungs: 12 adults
Livers: 44 adults, 5 adolescents and 22 paediatric of which:
13 paediatric were live related
Simultaneous kidney/liver: 1 adult & 2 paediatric
Kidneys: 231 adults, 4 adolescent & 16 paediatrics of which:
48 adults & 5 paediatric transplants were live related
44 adult kidney transplants was live non-related
21% of kidney donors were related to the recipient
Simultaneous kidney/pancreas: 3 adults
Pancreas after kidney: 2 adults
179 adults, adolescents and children had their sight restored through a cornea transplant.