Organ Donation: What You Should Know

With over 4,000 Canadians waiting for an organ transplant, inform yourself about the importance of becoming a donor

Not sure about being about being an organ donor? here are 4,000 Canadians waiting for a transplant

Learn more about the life-and-death importance of organ donation

In Canada, most of us are more likely to require an organ transplant than find ourselves in a position to provide organs for donation. However, life is unpredictable.

The fact is, any life can suddenly be cut short by an automobile accident, catastrophic injury (e.g., non-survivable stroke, aneurysm or heart attack), or other unforeseen circumstances.

Organ Donation Facts

If you’ve never given much thought to organ donation, you may be interested in the following facts:

  • A single organ/tissue donor can help up to 80 people
  • There’s no age limit on being an organ donor
  • Life-saving organ donations include the heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, pancreas and small bowel
  • Life-enhancing tissue donations include skin, bone, tendons, heart valves and cornea
  • Up to 95% of organ transplant patients are doing very well a year after surgery
  • There are 4,000 Canadians waiting for a life-saving organ donation
  • Last year 1,803 transplants were performed; another 195 Canadians died waiting for a transplant
  • Most major religions support an individual’s choice to donate their organs upon death
  • Some organs – liver, kidney and bone marrow – can be donated by a living donor
  • The health-care system fully covers the cost of organ donation.

If you’d like to help other Canadians to be part of your legacy, share your wishes with your family and sign on as an organ donor. To find out how, go to the Canadian Society of Transplantation, or check with your local motor vehicle branch or provincial health authority.

Originally published in Wellness Matters, Canada Wide Media’s quarterly newsletter on health and wellness.