Ontario organ donations soar

TheGlobeandMail.com – National – Trillium Gift of Life Network reports record number of donations in the province in 2009 saves almost 700 lives
Published on Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2010.   Toronto — The Canadian Press

There were a record number of organ donations in Ontario last year.

The Trillium Gift of Life Network says nearly 700 lives were saved because of organ donations in 2009.

It says organs from 218 people who died were used for 691 organ transplants, a 17 per cent increase over the previous year.

The network says the number of tissue donations was unprecedented, with 1,299 tissue donors in 2009, up 24 per cent.

Tissue donors provided bone grafts, heart valves, and skin for life-enhancing transplants, as well as 1,616 eyes for transplants to restore vision.

The network says one tissue donor can help up to 75 people through tissue donation.

It says donor registration and the launch of multi-faith and youth outreach campaigns are among the reasons for the increases.

“The work of the Trillium Gift of Life Network and everyone involved in organ and tissue donation in Ontario is making unbelievable differences in the lives of Ontarians and their families,” said Health Minister Deb Matthews in a statement.

It’s estimated that 1,600 people in Ontario are waiting for a life-saving transplant.

As of June 30, 2009, 17 per cent of eligible Ontarians over the age of 16 had registered their donation consent decision, a five per cent increase since Nov. 30, 2008.

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