Organ donation in Ontario increased by 30% in 2016

TORONTO, Jan. 31, 2017 /CNW/ - Trillium Gift of Life Network is proud to announce a third consecutive record year for organ and tissue donation and transplantation in Ontario. In 2016, deceased organ donation increased by 30 per cent, leading to more lives saved.

Last year (January 1December 31, 2016) 351 deceased organ donors and 256 living organ donors gave the gift of life to a record 1,302 transplant recipients. More families than ever before consented to organ donation, with a 40 per cent increase over 2015, marking a growing trend in families to choose donation for their loved one. Nearly 2,400 tissue donors enhanced the lives of thousands through the gift of eyes, bone, skin, and heart valves. In the past decade (2007 – 2016), tissue donation has increased by 161 per cent in Ontario.

Trillium Gift of Life Network has applied a number of internationally-accepted best practices over the past several years, leading to the increase in donation and transplantation. Highlights include:

  • implementing routine notification at 70 designated hospitals, requiring hospitals to refer all potential donation cases to Trillium Gift of Life Network;
  • appointing 58 donation physicians that work in-hospital to educate hospital staff about donation and facilitate implementation of donation policies;
  • providing ongoing training to organ and tissue donation coordinators who care for families throughout the donation process; and
  • increasing organ and tissue donor registration rates across Ontario communities.

"As we celebrate the successes of Ontario's donation and transplantation system let us remember the heroic donors and compassionate families who shared the gift of life," said Ronnie Gavsie, President and CEO of Trillium Gift of Life Network.

"Ontario remains committed to working with the Trillium Gift of Life Network to ensure that we increase the number of life-saving transplants and reduce wait times for patients requiring transplants. We have made great progress, and today more Ontarians are registered donors than ever before, but there is still more that we can do. We must continue to discuss the importance of organ donation in Ontario and encourage donors to discuss their wishes with their families and formally register at www.BeADonor.ca," said Dr. Eric Hoskins, Ontario's Minister of Health and Long Term Care.

In 2016, nearly 285,000 people joined the growing list of 3.7 million Ontarians who continue to offer hope to the 1,500 patients waiting for an organ transplant by registering their consent for donation. Currently, 30 per cent of eligible Ontarians have registered their decision to donate.

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.

SOURCE Trillium Gift of Life Network

To view this news release in HTML formatting, please use the following URL: http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/January2017/31/c4576.html

For further information: Jennifer Long, Media Relations Coordinator, 416-619-2327, c. 647-526-6941, jlong@giftoflife.on.ca

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