Canadian Blood Services and the Canadian Donation and Transplant Research Program publish expert gui
More donor families will be able to fulfill their loved one’s wishes
An organ donor can save up to eight lives. But not all potential organ donors become actual donors when they die—even if they’d registered to be. Health care providers sometimes miss the signs that a person’s medical state makes them a suitable organ donor. And, sometimes families simply aren’t asked in their time of grief, or are asked in the wrong way.
Annually in Canada, there were 2,000-4,000potential donors. But, only approximately 600 became actual organ donors.
The impact can be grim for people waiting on the transplant list. There are approximately 4,400 Canadians waiting for a lifesaving organ or tissue transplant. Not everyone in need of a vital organ receives a transplant. In fact, on average, 250 Canadians die each year waiting. Improving donor identification and referral will ultimately provide more high-quality organs for Canadians who are desperately in need.
The Canadian Donation and Transplantation Research Program (CDTRP) and Canadian Blood Services (CBS) are announcing the publication of expert guidance in the Canadian Journal of Anesthesia. This provides a framework for organ donor identification and referral, improving system accountability and end-of-life care. The work is the result of a successful and important collaboration between CBS and the CDTRP which started back in 2016 at the Potential Organ Donor Identification and System Accountability Workshop in Ottawa (pictured below).
We encourage you to read through the expert guidance document and the multiple recommendations, including several research priorities, that we believe will have a significant impact on improving donor identification and referral in Canada.
BARRIERS AND ENABLERS TO DONATION AFTER CIRCULATORY DEATH
The expert guidance on potential donor identification and referral work was informed by an important study by CDTRP Investigators Dr Greg Knoll, Dr. Janet Squires, Dr Jeremy Grimshaw and Dr Michaël Chassé on the barriers and enablers to organ donation after circulatory death (DCD). We encourage everyone to read through this important publication.