New data released by Canadian Blood Services and the Canadian Institute for Health Information highlights increase in donation rates
OTTAWA — Over the last 10 years, the rate of deceased organ donation has increased 42%, according to the latest numbers released by the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) and Canadian Blood Services. Close to 2,900 lifesaving transplants were performed in Canada in 2016.
New data are being released today through the Canadian Blood Services’ Organ Donation and Transplantation Report: System Progress Report and Donation and Transplantation Interprovincial Programs Report and CIHI’s Canadian Organ Replacement Register Annual Statistics.
Together, the data provide a more fulsome picture of Canada’s donation and transplantation activities across the provinces and territories over a 10-year period.
System changes increasing deceased donors
Since 2011, the number of deceased donors in Canada has increased steadily, with notable jumps in 2015 and 2016 (10% and 17% year-over-year increases, respectively). In 2016, there were 758 deceased donors in Canada. Each deceased donor can provide up to eight organs for transplantation.
Contributing to this increase is a rise in the number of organ donations from patients who have experienced circulatory death — meaning their hearts have permanently stopped beating— and neurological death — meaning their brain has permanently lost all function.
Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia have the highest deceased donation rates in the country. In addition to established donation after circulatory determination of death (DCD) programs, these provinces have also implemented mandatory referral and the presence of in-hospital donation specialists, to ensure donation opportunities are explored.
Living donation on the decline
Although the data reveal encouraging patterns in the growth of deceased donor activity, the rate of living donation has decreased 11% since 2007, with 544 donors in 2016.
British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario have the highest living donation rates due to broad system-level changes and an increased focus on living donation through new initiatives such as the interprovincial Kidney Paired Donation Program (KPD) and the Highly Sensitized Patient Kidney Program. These programs find kidneys for the most difficult to match.
The KPD program saw its second most successful year since its inception in 2009. A total of 505 kidney transplants were realized by the end of 2016, demonstrating that provincial health systems can effectively work together to improve transplant outcomes across the country.
End-Stage Kidney Disease in Canada
The CIHI report also includes data on kidney replacement therapy for end-stage kidney disease (ESKD). By the end of 2016, there were 37,647 Canadians (excluding Quebec) living with ESKD — up 36% since 2007. Canadians in need of a new kidney continues to significantly outpace the number of kidneys available.
In 2016, there were 1,731 kidneys transplanted in Canada and 3,421 Canadians still waiting.
- 2,835 transplant procedures were performed in Canada in 2016, a 32% increase since 2007.
- The rate of deceased organ donation in Canada increased 42% since 2007 with notable jumps in 2015 and 2016, with 10% and 17% year-over-year increases respectively.
- In 2016, there were 758 deceased organ donors in Canada, 109 more than the 649 reported in 2015. In addition, there were 544 living organ donors.
- In 2016, there were 1,731 kidneys transplanted in Canada and 3,421 Canadians still waiting.
- Canada still has a shortage of organs, with approximately 4,500 patients still waiting for transplants.
- In 2016, 260 Canadians died while waiting for a transplant.
Register to be a donor
Are you a registered donor? You can save a life by becoming an organ donor today. Register your consent online.