Winchester – Right now, in Ontario, there are more than 1,600 people waiting for a life-saving organ transplant. Unfortunately, the need for transplant continues to outweigh the number of organs available. Every three days, someone dies while waiting.
Trillium Gift of Life Network (TGLN), Ontario’s organ and tissue procurement organization, is working in two ways to tackle this problem: encouraging the public to register as organ and tissue donors and ensuring hospitals identify and notify TGLN of every potential donor.
Effective, March 31, 2020, Winchester District Memorial Hospital (WDMH) will work to save more lives through organ and tissue donation and transplantation by notifying TGLN when a patient is at high risk of imminent death or when a patient has died. Routine notification is the critical first step allowing TGLN to assess and determine if organ and/or tissue donation is possible.
“We are excited to be part of this important program,” says Nathalie Boudreau, Vice President, Clinical Services at WDMH. “Through this partnership, the hope is more families will have conversations about the importance of providing life-saving gifts to those in need.”
By implementing Routine Notification across the entire hospital, WDMH hopes to make donation a standard part of quality end-of-life care. A call to TGLN starts the process of saving and enhancing lives. Donations help honour a person’s wish to donate, leaving a lasting legacy for grieving families, and helping to start a new life for someone who is waiting for a transplant.
The gift of organ and tissue can be life changing, and life saving for a recipient, in the following ways:
- After a sight-restoring corneal transplant surgery facilitated through the gift of eye donation, recipients can return to work or school
- Kidney donation enables recipients to live free from dialysis treatments and allows them to eat and travel without restrictions
- Heart valve donations are used to replace the diseased or damaged valves of young children, giving them the chance to live a normal, healthy life
- Lung donation allows recipients to walk, climb stairs and build an active life.
To ensure that your donation decision is honored, register your consent at www.beadonor.ca or in person at a ServiceOntario centre. Be sure to speak to your family about your wishes. One day, your death could have the power to save up to eight lives and transform up to 75 others.