April 23, 2007 -Toronto, ON - Trillium Gift of Life Network (TGLN) kicked off National Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness Week (NOTDAW) today by announcing a new record for organ donation in Ontario. The 2006-2007 fiscal year ended with 184 deceased donations, up from 169 deceased donations in the 2005-2006 fiscal year.
“Our team of health care professionals, hospitals and Ontarians have been working extremely hard to save more lives, and for this record, we are extremely proud- but there is more to do,” said Frank Markel, President and CEO of TGLN.
The previous record for organ donation was set in calendar year 2006 with 172 deceased organ donations.
“There are still too many Ontarians on the waiting list today,” said Markel. “We are going to continue our push to increase donation. I would encourage everyone to sign their donor cards and speak to their families about their wishes. Every decision can make a difference - every decision can save lives.”
On January 9, 2006, the McGuinty government enacted a section of the Trillium Gift of Life Network Act calling for routine notification and request (“RNR”) requiring 13 hospitals to report every death to TGLN. On January 8, 2007, TGLN worked with 8 more hospitals to add RNR to their facilities. Since RNR began, referrals have more than quadrupled, leading to an increase in organ and tissue donation.
Other initiatives undertaken to increase organ and tissue donation rates in Ontario were:
- Introduction of Donation after Cardiac Death - 10 cases done in fiscal year 2006/07
- Effective requesting training for all TGLN in-hospital coordinators
- Increased education and awareness of the facts around organ and tissue donation aimed at the general public and healthcare providers
- Adoption of best practices from the United States’ “Breakthrough Collaborative”
“These results are encouraging,” said Markel. “We are very enthusiastic and will continue to work in cooperation with all of our health care partners to do our very best. Every one of us takes the responsibility of organ and tissue donation very seriously - we know we can save more lives.”
National Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness Week runs from April 22-29.
For more details on National Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness Week events, or for local waiting list numbers please go to Trillium Gift of Life or call 416.363.4001 or toll free 1-800-263-2833.
“You Have the Power to Save Lives – Sign Your Donor Card & Tell Your Loved Ones of Your Decision”