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The ABC 7.30 Report on Monday 11 January, 2016 featured a story on the critical shortage of donated tissues facing the Donor Tissue Bank of Victoria and the broader community. 

The story (which is also available on ABC News online) involved Kate Sanderson, an ultra-marathon runner who received burns to 65 per cent of her body after becoming caught in a fire in Western Australia, and Hamish Pownall who was born with a malfunctioning aortic heart valve. It also featured Jack Adams whose organs and tissues have helped up to 30 people including a corneal tissue recipient.

Kate Sanderson
Kate Sanderson suffered serious burns when she was caught in a bushfire during a sporting event four years ago. (Photo sourced from ABC Online)Bushfire season is a critical time for us at the Donor Tissue Bank of Victoria. Human skin tissue provides the best dressing available to use on serious burns particularly where more than 50% of the body surface is affected (quite often in children) making autografting (transplant of the patient’s own good skin to the affected areas) very difficult.

The benefits of using donated skin tissue on serious burn injuries

The use of allograft skin stabilises the wounds, reduces infection and critical fluid loss, promotes healing of the wound bed and makes the patient far more comfortable. With time bought with the use of donor skin, the patient’s own skin can be cultured in the laboratory and applied to the patient for later grafting. Long term scarring is very much reduced with the use of donor skin.

Donated skin undoubtedly saves lives and improves long term outcomes.

Read more about skin tissue

ABC News online, Monday 11 January 2016
“We’re short in everything, absolutely everything,” Donor Tissue Bank of Victoria senior scientist Kellie Hamilton said.
“We desperately need skin to be able to treat burns. We’re coming into bushfire season and that’s always a critical time for us.”
Read more…


ABC 7.30 Report 11 Jan 2016ABC 7.30 Report, Broadcast: 11 January 2016
Australia is facing a critical shortage of donated tissue, including skin, bones, heart valves and tendons.
Reporter: Emily Stewart

scars-on-hamish-chest-after-surgery-dataOPEN HEART:
As his friends celebrate the end of high school, one 18-year-old goes under the knife for life changing surgery.
Story by ABC journalist, Margaret Burin about donor heart valve recipient, Hamish Pownall (ABC News, Monday 11 January, 2016)


The life saving gift of skin for burns patients featuring Heather Cleland, Director, Victorian Adult Burns Service, Alfred Hospital

The heart of the matter: Cardiac tissue donation featuring Cardiothoracic Surgeon, Peter Skillington

Take a virtual tour of the DTBV with Kellie Hamilton

Become a Donor

Media enquiries: Please contact Deb Withers on (03) 9684 4444



Source Tissue


Process Method

QC Testing




The Critical Shortage of Donated Tissue