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Organ and tissue donations continue to increase in Niagara

Posted Apr 21st, 2009

NIAGARA, Ontario:  Enhanced focus on education and awareness has resulted in a continued increase over the last year in the number of organ and tissue donations in Niagara, particularly in the area of eye donations.

"The Niagara Health System is working hard to raise awareness about the importance of organ and tissue donations, and we are pleased with the continued progress in Niagara," says Anne Atkinson, Vice President Patient Services.  "These donations are the direct result of a family’s loss of a loved one, and we are grateful to the family members who made the decision to give the gift of life by donating their loved ones’ organs and tissue."  

The NHS had the sixth highest number of eye donations in the province, climbing steadily from 18 eyes in 2005 to 110 eyes to 2008.  In addition, there were two multiple organ donors resulting in the recovery and transplant of seven life-saving organs, and five tissue donations (examples of tissue donations include skin, bone and heart valves).  Also of note, the NHS had a 100 per cent compliance rate in notifying Trillium Gift of Life of every potential donor in Niagara. 

"I would like to congratulate all of our health providers for their contributions in increasing donation rates in Niagara," says NHS President and CEO Debbie Sevenpifer.  "As always, I would encourage everyone to talk to their families about their wishes regarding donation."

More than 1,700 people are on the transplant waiting list in Ontario, 54 of them from Niagara.  One donor’s generosity can have a tremendous impact on improving the health of others who desperately need transplants.  One organ donor can save up to eight lives through organ donation and enhance the lives of up to 75 others through tissue donation.

The NHS, in conjunction with TGLN, is inviting the Niagara community to participate in a Living Green Ribbon event at Governor Simcoe Secondary School, 15 Glenview Avenue, St. Catharines, on Friday, April 24, 2009.  This public awareness event will be held rain or shine on the football field from 10:20 a.m. to 10:35 a.m.  Members of the public are encouraged to invite their colleagues, friends and neighbours.  Parking will be available, and car pooling is encouraged.  Please try to wear green or white.

Caroline Bourque Wiley
Consultant, Public Affairs
905-378-4647, ext. 43113

Niagara Health System