Baby boomers least likely to register consent for organ donation, most likely to need transplant

Age is not a barrier to donation; nearly half of all deceased organ donors are 50+

TORONTO, Oct. 25, 2012 /CNW/ - Almost two-thirds of the 1,529 patients waiting for an organ transplant in Ontario are 50 years of age or older.  Though older Ontarians are most likely to need a lifesaving organ transplant, only 39 per cent of the 2.5 million registered organ and tissue donors are 50+.

Despite common misconceptions, you are never too old to be a donor. In Ontario in 2011-2012, 47 per cent of the 222 people who gave the gift of life through organ donation after death were 50 or older, and 11 per cent were 70+.

Registering as a donor can help prevent unnecessary deaths of Ontarians on the transplant waiting list.  Families approached to consider organ and tissue donation almost always consent when they are given evidence of their loved ones' registration, while those who decline usually state it is because they are not sure what their loved one would have wanted. Similar to donor registration rates, consent rates for organ donation also decreased with age, resulting in a loss of potential donors. In 2011-2012 the average consent rate for potential organ donors who were 50 or older was 52 per cent, compared to 68 per cent for those younger than 50.

One donor can save up to eight lives and enhance the lives of up to 75 others through the gift of tissue. Visit www.BeADonor.ca to register or to check your registration status. It is important to note that a signed donor card does not mean you are registered.

New information available today on the Gift of 8 Movement at www.BeADonor.ca shows that so far this fiscal year, 128,000 people have registered consent to organ and tissue donation.

Quotes:

"There are nine million Ontarians who have not yet registered, 45 per cent of them are 50 years of age or older and over one-third of them live in the GTA.  All Ontarians regardless of their age have the potential to save and enhance lives.  It only takes two minutes to register consent to organ and tissue donation at www.BeADonor.ca."

Ronnie Gavsie, President and CEO of Trillium Gift of Life Network

"It is encouraging to see more Ontarians registering.  However we know that we can do so much more - especially those who are 50 years and older.  Organ donation saves lives. I urge you to register your consent online today."

Deb Matthews, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care

Quick Facts:

  • Since the launch of the Gift of 8 Movement in April 2012, users have created over 500 personal and organizational web profiles on www.BeADonor.ca to inspire their neighbours, friends and co-workers to register their consent for organ and tissue donation.
  • The Gift of 8 Movement Workplace initiative is a customized tool that facilitates online registration drives in any workplace environment.
  • People can also register consent through your Smartphone at beadonor.ca.
  • Ontario's organ and tissue donor registration rate at September 30, 2012 is 22%.
  • Northern Ontario communities continue to lead donor registration rates in Ontario.
  • Registration rates in the GTA remain the lowest in the province, with Concord, Woodbridge, Vaughan and Scarborough reporting rates under 10 per cent.

Trillium Gift of Life Network is a not-for-profit agency of the Government of Ontario responsible for planning, promoting, coordinating and supporting organ and tissue donation for transplantation across Ontario and improving the system so that more lives can be saved.

Tables

Organ Transplant Wait List, By Age (as at September 30, 2012)

Demographic Number Age Group
0-15 16-19 20-29 30-39 40-49 50-59 60-69 70+
Wait List Patients 1,529 2% 1% 5% 10% 17% 29% 28% 8%

Registered and Unregistered Population, By Age (as at September 30, 2012)

Demographic Number Age Group
0-15 16-19 20-29 30-39 40-49 50-59 60-69 70+
Unregistered
Population
9,029,891 - 7% 16% 15% 18% 18% 13% 14%
Registered Donors 2,551,994 - 4% 15% 20% 2 2% 18% 13% 8%

Consent Rate for Organ Donation and Deceased Organ Donors, By Age (Fiscal Year 2011-2012, April 1, 2011 - March 31, 2012)

Demographic Age Group
All 0-15 16-19 20-29 30-39 40-49 50-59 60-69 70+
Consent Rate 58% 65% 69% 77% 70% 63% 60% 50% 42%
Organ Donors 222 7% 5% 12% 10% 18% 23% 13% 11%

 

SOURCE: Trillium Gift of Life Network

For further information:

Leona Hollingsworth
Trillium Gift of Life Network
(o) 416-619-2363
(c) 416-689-7711
lhollingsworth@giftoflife.on.ca