Organ and tissue donation for health professionals

The Australian Organ and Tissue Authority was established in 2009 to support the Commonwealth Government’s World’s Best Practice Approach to Organ and Tissue Donation and Transplantation Reform Package. The Authority works in partnership with all State and Territory Governments and with members of the Organ and Tissue Donation sector to ensure a convergence of policy and practice across Australia on organ and tissue donation for transplantation. DonateLife SA (formerly the South Australian Organ Donation Agency) coordinates all organ and tissue donor activities across the State.

DonateLife website for health professionals

The DonateLife national website contains a large amount of material for health professionals working in the organ donation sector. This includes:

Organ donation waiting rates and waiting lists

Refer to the DonateLife website for national performance data that provides an overview of organ and tissue donation and transplantation activity in Australia.

Further information on waiting rates and waiting lists, refer to the Australia and New Zealand Organ Donation (ANZOD) Registry.

Designated Officers Program

The Transplantation and Anatomy Act 1983 (SA) requires written authorisation by a Designated Officer before proceeding with the removal of organs/tissues for transplantation or for other therapeutic, medical or scientific purposes, hospital post-mortem or whole body donation.

Authorised Persons are officers of the Eye Bank of South Australia (situated at Flinders Medical Centre) and are authorised to remove eye tissue from deceased persons for the purpose of corneal transplantation.

See Introduction to the Roles of the Designated Officer and Authorised Person (PDF 248KB) for further information.

Designated Officers are medical practitioners nominated for each of the major public and private hospital sites by an individual senior in position to the nominee.  The hospital nomination process may vary from site to site.  Generally, a senior hospital administrator will seek advice from Clinical Directors to ensure appropriately qualified Designated Officers are nominated for each site.  To nominate a medical practitioner as a Designated Officer for a hospital please complete the Designated Officer Nomination Form and e-mail to HealthBloodOrganandTissuePrograms@sa.gov.au

Following nomination, the Minister for Health and Wellbeing considers and formally appoints each Designated Officer in writing.

Designated Officer list

A copy of the Statewide list of Designated Officers and Authorised Persons list is provided to each hospital following any updates. Alternatively you can contact DonateLife SA on (08) 8207 7117.

Designated Officers and Authorised Persons are now also recorded in the Credentialing and Scope of Clinical Practice System (CSCPS) database which is available for viewing here by anyone with an SA Health log-in, from SA Health work stations. Designated Officers and Authorised Persons are easily identifiable by searching ‘SOP Health Unit & Department’ ‘Blood, Organ and Tissue Programs’ on the search tab. The scope of practice as a Designated Officer or Authorised Person is listed under the ‘SOP’ tab in the individuals profile.

For any enquiries or updates to the list, please contact Blood, Organ and Tissue Programs on (08) 8463 6197.

Eye donation

Almost anyone can donate eyes regardless of age, sex, race or previous physical condition. Wearing glasses or having poor vision does not prevent eye donation. The cornea can be transplanted to restore or improve sight and occasionally other parts of the eye can be used for reconstructive surgery.

The Eye Bank of South Australia is located within Flinders Medical Centre. For more information on the Eye Bank and associated donation/transplantation processes, please refer to the Flinders University website.

Further information

Contact DonateLife SA for more information on organ and tissue donation.