WA has achieved its best year in organ donation and transplants, with a record number of kidney and liver transplants and a 50 per cent increase in the number of deceased donors last year.
Figures obtained by The Weekend West show 47 West Australians were deceased organ donors last year compared with 32 in 2012, and a record 166 organs were transplanted from WA donors - 60 per cent more than in the previous year.
The organs became part of a national pool that allowed 101 kidney transplants and 32 liver transplants to be carried out in WA.
It means WA's once-lagging donor rate jumped from 13 per million people in 2012 to more than 19 per million last year, while the rate of potential donors considered for transplants who ended up becoming donors rose from 46 per cent to 62 per cent.
Doctors this week credited the results to better streamlining of the donor and transplant process, including more transplants being performed in what were once considered incompatible matches, such as between people with different blood types.
DonateLife WA medical director Bruce Powell said measures to lift donor and transplant rates were starting to pay off, including improving how doctors and families discussed organ donation at a difficult time.
"We're seeing families more aware of organ donation and less shocked when doctors approach them about donating their relative's organs, but we still need to make it a more normal and routine conversation," Dr Powell said.
"But the improvement has been pretty remarkable and it's genuinely saving the lives of people who would have died within days if they didn't have a transplant."
To become an organ donor go to donorregister.gov.au or phone 1800 777 203.