Organ donation - With 151 organ donors in 2008 and 513 organs retrieved and transplanted, Québec sets a new historic record

    MONTREAL, Jan. 9 /CNW Telbec/ - Owing to the generosity of Quebecers, 513
organs from 151 deceased donors in 2008 were retrieved and transplanted, a
record in the history of Québec-Transplant. Indeed in comparison to 2007, this
represents a 7.9% increase in the number of donors and an 9.4% increase in the
number of available organs for transplantation. According to
Québec-Transplant's preliminary statistical data, 453 persons were
transplanted. As Mr. Louis Beaulieu, Chief Executive Officer of Québec-
Transplant, puts it, "These records spur us to relentlessly pursue our
collective effort, before as well as after donation, so as to increase the
supply of organs available for transplantation. These good results must not
blind us to the growing demand for transplantation: on December 31, 2008,
1,159 persons were registered on the waiting list, administered by
    Over the last ten years alone, the number of donors remained stable, the
average being 136 donors, peaking to 142 in 2003. While the number of
neurological deaths is decreasing, owing notably to the latest treatments in
traumatology, which save more lives than before among victims of road
accidents, as well as to successful campaigns promoting road safety, the
number of organs available for transplantation has paradoxically increased.
This improvement observed in 2008 may be partly explained by the development
of medical protocols now making it possible to re-establish organ function
before transplantation, as well as the donation protocol after
cardiocirculatory death.
    Above all, this life-line begins with the generosity of donors and their
loved ones, not to mention the sustained efforts to raise awareness. One
should also emphasize that in addition to the 151 actual donors, 24 other
donors were excluded during the process for medical reasons. What is more,
some 60% of the 2008 organ donors were also tissue donors.

    At the heart of the organ donation process: collaboration and commitment

    "This effort deserves to be singled out and the successes of 2008 shared
with all actors," maintains Mr. Louis Beaulieu. Coordinating the process
leading to organ donation is complex, and it requires the participation and
collaboration of many players. We must recognize the work of professionals in
the hospitals (physicians, surgeons, nurses, liaison nurses and resource
nurses working in organ and tissue donation, inhalation therapists, chaplains,
social workers) and all other persons who, directly or indirectly, facilitate
the coordination process leading to donation in the hospital, which is ensured
by Québec-Transplant's coordinators-clinical consultants, all of whom are
intensive care or emergency room nurses with additional training in organ
    The team work in a race against the clock is one of the keys to its
success. Some 40 hospital centres in all regions of Quebec actively took part
in all aspects of the organ donation process in 2008. Québec-Transplant also
wishes to highlight the support it receives from numerous associations and
foundations that provide services to persons waiting for transplantation, take
part in research to prevent diseases leading to organ failure, and publicly
promote organ donation.
    "Only 1% of hospital deaths give rise to organ donation. For this reason,
every consent counts. When the wishes of the deceased person are known, the
decision to proceed with the donation is made easier for the loved ones.
Awareness in all segments of the population, from schools to companies, must
be emphasized, so that all can participate in this act of human solidarity,"
says Louis Beaulieu.
    Québec-Transplant would like to point out that the wish to bequeath one's
organs as an inheritance consists above all in informing one's loved ones,
once the decision is made. To know how to indicate your consent or to obtain a
consent sticker, please go to The matter can also be
discussed with one's notary.

    About Québec-Transplant

    Québec-Transplant is the organization responsible for coordinating organ
donation in Quebec. Its mission is to contribute to the ongoing improvement in
the quality of services offered to persons in need of an organ transplant by
coordinating and facilitating activities involving the identification of
potential donors as well as the procurement and allocation of organs.
Québec-Transplant also strives to promote organ donation and to raise public
awareness of its importance.


    Points of Reference

    - Rate of Deceased Donors per Million Population in Québec
      2008: 19.6
      2007: 18.2  Canadian rate for 2007: 14.9

    - Organ Donors
      1988: 101 donors
      1998: 120 donors
      2008: 151 donors, 144 by neurological death and 7 after
      cardiocirculatory death

      Donation after Cardiocirculatory Death (DCD) has been accepted since
      April 2007, in the context of a pilot project under way in Quebec,
      entitled Protocole de don après le décès cardiocirculatoire en
      environnement contrôlé. Only the kidneys are recovered in this protocol
      in which four hospital centers participate: CHA-Hôpital de l'Enfant-
      Jésus; Centre hospitalier universitaire de Sherbrooke; McGill
      University Health Centre; Hôpital du Sacré-Coeur de Montréal.

    - Organs Recovered and Transplanted
      2008: 513 organs.

      Of this number, 52 organs were offered to patients outside of Québec,
      in other Canadian provinces and 23 organs were received from other
      provinces for Quebec patients.

    - Tissues

      Québec-Transplant facilitates tissue donation in its process of
      coordinating organ donation. It refers to tissue banks (Héma-Québec) as
      soon as consent is obtained for tissue donation.

    Source : Preliminary Data - January 9, 2009 - Québec-Transplant


For further information:

For further information: Brigitte Junius, (514) 286-1414, poste
216/(514) 349-0752 (Québec-Transplant)

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