About Us

Australian Tissue Donation Network provides opportunities for private Hospitals to participate in donation programs of various types. Education and equipment required to facilitate the programs are given to both health professionals and all staff working within the hospitals, as well as to members of the Australian community.

 

To ensure the highest possible standards and safety for all involved, all donors must undergo a screening process to assess their suitability. Donor screening is performed by trained staff employed at Australian Tissue Donation Network. Donor eligibility is confirmed by referencing legislation such as the Therapeutic Goods Act (TGO88) and the Human Tissue Act. Adherence to protocols and guidelines as published, ensures programs, such as the one currently in place within public sector (NSW Organ and Tissue Donation Service) and the newly developed Australian Tissue Donation Network Programs are compliant with regulations and best practice.

The Medical/Social Questionnaire is an important part of this screening process and consists of a series of questions designed to explore the potential donor’s medical history and environmental risks as well as a risk assessment based on social behaviour, lifestyle, travel and origin. Questions asked are the same as those sanctioned by the TGA and currently used with all donors of blood and/or bone tissue.

Trained Australian Tissue Donation Network Staff will perform a telephone, or face to face interview with the potential donors to ensure this questionnaire is complete. The questions are clear and unambiguous, designed to be understandable by the donor and, although some are of a personal nature, all information is kept 100% confidential by the Australian Tissue Donation Network.

What is Tissue Donation?

In Australia the donation of eyes and tissue (soft tissues, bones, skin etc.) makes up the largest portion of donation and transplantation, with a significantly higher number of referrals compared to whole organ referrals.

 

Eye and tissue banks provide significant benefits within the health sector. Donations of tissue can significantly improve the lives of recipients and in some cases, is lifesaving.

Each year thousands of lives are transformed through receiving donated soft tissue. Bone donated from generous everyday Australians is crafted into much needed graft material known as “allografts”. Patients undergoing routine total hip replacement surgery can choose to donate the bone removed during this operation, that would otherwise be disposed of.

The donation of bone can be made in two ways; live donation and deceased donation. The Australian Tissue Donation Network™ Femoral Head Donation Program facilitates the donation of the Femoral Head, removed during routine primary total hip replacement surgery and that would otherwise be discarded, from live, consenting donors. Bone donation is voluntary and does not alter how the hip replacement surgery is performed; it bears no cost to the donor and, as such, is referred to as a community service. Just one donation has the potential to change the lives of many.

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Our Mission

The Femoral Head program has steadily gained momentum since its introduction to the Australian Tissue Donation Network™. Currently the program is established in more than 25 private hospitals across NSW and VIC, however, with many other hospitals eager to participate, this number continues to grow.

 

Rates of tissue donation in Australia are amongst the lowest in the world. In 2013, just over 4000 Australians donated tissue. While donation within Australia is increasing, it is a key focus of the program to raise awareness and to ensure all Australians are informed, and aware of their ability to help others through donation. The program was developed in response to an increasing number of donors championing the cause of donation, and to this day, the program continues to be driven by passionate donors from all over Australia.

 

Australian Tissue Donation Network’s mission is to change lives through tissue donation and raise awareness and educate everyday Australians about donation.

 

The education of participating hospital staff is key to the success of the program. As such, the program is committed to providing ongoing support to participating hospitals and their staff. Regular education sessions, in-services, as well as regular hands on assistance in theatres is offered.