Monday, January 24, 2011

British Columbia sets new record for organ transplants in 2010

Congratulations to the Canadian province of British Columbia for the leadership role it is playing in improving the rate of organ & tissue donation. It's the only Canadian province that has an on-line donor registry and hopefully others will follow suit soon. (some provinces have registries where one can go on-line, download a form, print it, fill it out and mail it in...)

BC Transplant kicks off its 25th anniversary
by setting a new record for organ transplants

Vancouver – BC Transplant, an agency of the Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA), is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year and announced it has set a new record for organ transplants.

In 2010, BC Transplant performed 295 transplants, a record-breaking number that surpasses 2009’s number of 211 and the previous record of 266 in 2008.

“This is a great achievement for British Columbia. Transplants depend on organ donation and the availability of organs for transplant, and I would like to acknowledge the living donors and families of deceased donors who made the difficult decision to donate organs that saved the lives of thousands of people across the province,” says Colin Hansen, Minister of Health Services. “I encourage everyone to learn more about registering to become an organ donor through BC Transplant’s Organ Donor Registry.”

“It was an honour to carry out what I knew my husband wanted—that from his tragedy, he would enable someone else to continue and embrace the beauty of life,” says Bonnie, whose husband passed away last year. “Bill always wanted to help people lead a fuller life. He achieved this with his last selfless act of organ donation. For this, we are truly grateful.”

Not only were there a record number of overall transplants, but in 2010, BC Transplant also performed:

  • Kidney Deceased     92
  • Kidney-Living Donor 97
  • Pancreas-Kidney      2
  • Pancreas             3
  • Pancreas Islet      10
  • Liver-Deceased      46
  • Liver-Living Donor   7
  • Heart               22
  • Single Lung          6
  • Double Lung         10
  • TOTAL              295

189 kidney transplants (previous record was 172 in 2007);
53 liver transplants (47 in 2008);
10 double lung transplants (six in 2008).

“The milestones reached by BC Transplant demonstrate PHSA’s commitment to deliver excellent patient care and ultimately improve the health of all British Columbians who need our services,” says Wynne Powell, Chair, Board of Directors, PHSA.

George Keulen knows the real value of these numbers. He received a double lung transplant in 2010. “Words such as ‘amazing’, ‘life changing’ or ‘humbling’ can’t begin to describe what my transplant has done for me, and the depth of gratitude I have to my donor and their family,” says George. “The 18 months I spent waiting for my double lung transplant was like being on a sinking ship and hoping the rescue boat would make it on time. The only reason I am alive today is because someone else made the decision to give, and every breath that my transplanted lungs take are a testament to that.”

There are many factors that contribute to the number of organ transplants performed each year, such as organ suitability and match on the waitlist as well as awareness of and registration on B.C.’s Organ Donor Registry. In addition, programs such as Living Donor Expense Reimbursement and the National Paired Kidney Exchange (operated by Canadian Blood Services) enable more people to be living donors, and deceased organ donation is no longer limited to patients who died as a result of brain death but now includes cardiac death.

“We are excited about having set a new record in the number of transplants performed because it means there are hundreds of patients who are now able to live healthier lives,” says Dr. Greg Grant, Provincial Executive Director, BC Transplant. ”We will continue to work towards increasing this number and improve care for patients still waiting for a transplant.”

It takes only a few minutes to register your decision on organ donation on B.C.’s Organ Donor Registry at What are you waiting for? Do it today!

“You Have the Power to Save Lives – Register to be an organ and tissue donor & Tell Your Loved Ones of Your Decision”
Register to be a donor in Ontario at Trillium Gift of Life Network NEW for Ontario: - Learn The Ins & Outs Of Organ And Tissue Donation. Register Today! For other Canadian provinces click here
In the United States, be sure to find out how to register in your state at or Download Donor Cards from OrganDonor.Gov
In Great Britain, register at NHS Organ Donor Register
In Australia, register at Australian Organ Donor Register
Your generosity can save or enhance the lives of up to fifty people with heart, kidneys, liver, lungs, pancreas and small intestine transplants (see allotransplantation). One tissue donor can help by donating skin, corneas, bone, tendon, ligaments and heart valves

Has your life been saved by an organ transplant? "Pay it forward" and help spread the word about the need for organ donation - In the U.S. another person is added to the national transplant waiting list every 11 minutes and 18 people die each day waiting for an organ or tissue transplant. Organs can save lives, corneas renew vision, and tissue may help to restore someone's ability to walk, run or move freely without pain. Life Begins with You

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