Transplantation Services Transplantation Services
Transplantation Services

Donors and Transplant

Each year, hundreds of lives are saved by the generosity of organ donors and their families. Following the identification of a suitable donor, consent for organ donation is sought from the family. This process is managed by DonateLife, the Australian Government Organ and Tissue Authority. Organs considered suitable for donation include the heart, lungs, kidneys, pancreas, intestines and liver, tissue and eyes.

It is important to understand that no one knows exactly when a donor organ will be available for you. Allocation of organs depends on matching the blood group and the size of the donated liver to the most unwell patient.

Types of Donors

  • Donation after Neurological Determination of Death (DNDD)
    These are the usual donors, with permanent loss of brain function and blood flow. They are always on a ventilator and undergo rigorous testing to ensure the diagnosis of 'death' as well as checking for suitability to be a donor.
  • Donation after Circulatory Determination of Death (DCDD)
    These donors usually have a severe, irreversible brain injury. The family and treating team independently make the decision to withdraw active treatment. The surgery to remove organs happens as soon as possible after the donor dies and have been under more stress.
  • Liver donation from living adults to paediatric or adult recipients is performed when the circumstances justify it.

In all cases, the transplant team will consider the quality of the donor organ carefully, and will not proceed to transplantation if it is thought that the risks to you are too high. Risks specific to your situation and risks related to the donor organ will be discussed with you by your hepatologist and transplant surgeon.