QUÉBEC, April 24, 2015 /CNW Telbec/ - When Patrick Beaupré suffered an eye injury at just 19 years of age, he would have become blind were it not for the generosity of one of the 734 individuals who consented to donate human tissues before they died last year and the expertise of the Centre universitaire d'ophtalmologie de Québec where Patrick received a corneal transplant.
Thousands of stories just like Patrick's occur every year. A supplier of human tissues since 2001, Héma-Québec knows this all too well, having distributed nearly 4,000 products to hospitals in Québec and the rest of Canada between April 1, 2014 and March 31, 2015. The organization has been steadily developing expertise for years and now manages the largest human tissue bank in Canada, distributing more products than any other supplier.
This is made possible first and foremost by those who have consented to donate human tissues. In Québec, 2.1 million people are registered in the Registre des consentements au don d'organes et de tissus, launched by the Régie de l'assurance maladie du Québec (RAMQ) in 2011. As part of National Organ and Tissue Donation Week, which continues through April 26, Héma-Québec is emphasizing the importance of registering consent. Although a vast majority of the population says that they are in favour of organ and tissue donation, fewer than half have officially provided consent.
Registering consent to organ and tissue donation with the RAMQ is yielding truly tangible results. For example, the number of people waiting for a corneal transplant in Québec has dropped 71% in four years, from 704 in February 2011 to just 278 in April 2015.
A campaign emphasizing the importance of consent
To remind people of the importance of organ and tissue donation, Héma-Québec, Transplant Québec and the Régie de l'assurance maladie du Québec have collaborated to produce a campaign of short videos that are being broadcast starting this week on the partners' respective social media platforms. These testimonials by recipients provide living proof that organ and tissue donation changes and improves the quality of life for patients considerably and even saves lives.
To learn more about consent, visit signezdon.gouv.qc.ca.
Héma-Québec provides Québec hospitals with human tissues for transplant purposes (including skin grafts, heart valves and musculoskeletal tissue such as tendons and bones) and also collects eye tissue for use in corneal transplants.
Héma-Québec's mission is to efficiently meet the needs of the Québec population for safe, optimal-quality blood and blood products, human tissues, cord blood, mother's milk and cellular products; and to develop and provide expertise and specialized, innovative services in the field of human biological products.
Give blood. Give life.
For further information: Héma-Québec, Media line: 514 832-0871, www.hema-quebec.qc.ca