The Donor Co-ordination Service was established in 1987 at Green Lane Hospital around the same time that the first heart transplants began. In 2005, the service changed its name to Organ Donation New Zealand (ODNZ).
Today, Organ Donation NZ is a 24 hour, national service, managing all deceased organ and tissue donation throughout the country.
We are a specialised team of doctors and nurses who are donor coordinators. Our primary responsibility is to co-ordinate the donation of organs and tissues from deceased donors in New Zealand for transplant units and tissue banks in New Zealand and sometimes Australia. The donor co-ordinators also provide information and on-going support for those families who have generously donated organs or tissues.
Organ Donation New Zealand staff work with health professionals throughout New Zealand providing education and training to ensure there are excellent, nationally consistent, processes for organ and tissue donation.
A donor co-ordinator is available 24 hours a day to receive referrals of potential donors.
Following a family's agreement to donate, the donor co-ordinator requests medical information about the donor and liases with the transplant units and tissue banks.
The transplant units and tissue banks decide on the suitability of the organs and tissues for donation, before matching them with a recipient on the transplant waiting list.
The donor co-ordinator then organises all aspects of the organ or tissue retrieval.
Following the donation, the donor co-ordinator provides information and support for the family of the donor and for some families this support is continued for a number of years.
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Our logo consists of three interlacing circles. These represent the three key participants in the organ donation story - the donor, the family of the donor and the recipient.
The 'life circles' indicate the connection all three participants have with each other - the donor's gift of an organ, the family who gave permission for this process to occur in a time of incredible emotional stress, and the recipient who receives the organ because of this generosity.
It is an emotional time for all concerned, and they will be linked through this intimate process forever. Yet the donor/family never meet the recipient - or know each other's identities, hence the life circles never quite meet.
The stylized strokes of the three circle elements also represent the cycles of all things living - that there is a beginning and an end, and in the context of organ donation life can be renewed from the ending of another.
Through death comes the gift of life.
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