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Organ transplants up but patients continue to die on waitlist: report

Last Updated Dec 5, 2019 at 10:49 am PDT

(Source: iStock)

A new report shows patients are dying on waitlists even as the number of organ transplants is up

The number of people who need transplants far exceeds the number of available organs

VANCOUVER –  A new report suggests that organ transplants are on the rise in Canada, but wait times continue to cost patients their lives.

The report, by the Canadian Institute for Health Information, says the number of transplant procedures increased by 33 per cent from 2009 to 2018.

By the end of last year, more than 4,300 people were on wait lists for organ transplants, and another 223 patients died while waiting.

The report says the rate of deceased organ donations has jumped by 42 per cent since 2009, while the rate of living donors has held
relatively steady.

The program lead for CIHI’s Canadian Organ Replacement Register says the statistics show that Canada is struggling to keep
pace with the needs of patients.

“Every year, people are dying on the waiting list for an organ transplant. These are completely preventable deaths. Every time that an organ that could be retrieved isn’t, it is possible that it could have saved the life of an individual.”

Michael Terner says even as donations have increased, the number of people who need transplants far exceeds the number of available

He hopes medical advances will improve access to transplants across the board. But in the meantime, he urged Canadians to register as organ donors and discuss the decision with their families.