Wednesday, May 1, 2013

10% Growth in Number of Registered Organ and Tissue Donors in Ontario

ServiceOntario Initiatives, Registration Drives Credited With Increase

TORONTO, May 1, 2013 /Canada NewsWire/ - Between April 1, 2012 and March 31, 2013, 245,886 Ontarians registered their consent to organ and tissue donation, bringing the total number of registered donors in the province to 2.6 million people. One out of every six registrations was completed at www.BeADonor.ca, where it takes two minutes to register consent or check your registration status.

"Over the past few years Ontario has worked hard to develop a world-class organ and tissue donor registration system," said Deb Matthews, Minister of Health and Long Term Care. "As of February this year, everyone who is renewing a driver's license or Ontario photo ID card is asked to register consent, in addition to those renewing their health cards. It has never been easier to be a hero - please take two minutes to register or check your consent status at www.BeADonor.ca."

Donor registration rates vary widely by community across Ontario and are highest in Northern Ontario. While overall registration rates in the Greater Toronto Area continue to lag behind those in the rest of the province, most communities, including Woodbridge (17 per cent), Vaughan (17 per cent), the city of Toronto (13 per cent), Markham and Thornhill (13 per cent) have reported more than a 10 per cent increase in the number of registered donors in the last year.

"Workplace registration drives run through www.BeADonor.ca have shown the impact and importance of community leadership in increasing registered donors," says Ronnie Gavsie, President and CEO of Trillium Gift of Life Network. "To date, successful drives have been run by hospitals, police forces, university students and workplaces, with the top five inspiring 7,500 visits to online donor registration. I'd like to challenge all community leaders to help us save more lives by launching a registration drive in their own workplace."

Quick Facts:

...The overall rate of registered donors in Ontario edged up slightly in the last quarter to reach 23 per cent.

...As of March 31, 2013, there were 1,468 people in Ontario waiting for the gift of a lifesaving organ transplant.

...Northern Ontario has the highest rates of registration in the province, with three suburbs of Sudbury (Hanmer, Lively and Garson) reporting donor registration rates of over 50 per cent.

...The number of registered organ and tissue donors in the GTA grew slightly faster than in the rest of Ontario (12 per cent vs. 10 per cent) from April 1, 2012 to March 31, 2013, but it continues to lag behind the provincial average, with an overall registration rate of 14 per cent.

...Woodbridge and Vaughan are the only two communities in Ontario with registration rates of less than 10 per cent.

...One donor can save up to eight lives and enhance the lives of up to 75 more through the gift of tissue.

...Many Ontarians mistakenly believe they are registered donors because they have signed a paper donor card. Donor cards are not effective, as they are not always available when needed. Register online at www.BeADonor.ca.

Trillium Gift of Life Network is a not-for-profit agency of the Government of Ontario responsible for planning, promoting, coordinating and supporting organ and tissue donation for transplantation across Ontario and improving the system so that more lives can be saved.

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