DURING National Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness Week, Minister of Citizens’ Services Jinny Sims says she wants to remind British Columbians to register their decisions on organ donation at any Service BC office.
“With 479 lives saved in 2017, we want to keep the awareness and the momentum going to break this record, and save even more lives next year,” said Sims. “Staff at Service BC offices know how hard, and how important, conversations about organ donation can be, so I want to commend them for all the work they do to help British Columbians understand what it means to be an organ donor.”
April 22-29 is National Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness Week. It is a chance to encourage more British Columbians to discuss their wishes for organ donation with loved ones, and register their decision in B.C.’s organ donor registry.
The Ministry of Citizens’ Services operates 62 Service BC locations throughout British Columbia. As part of the many services provided at these offices, staff provide information about organ donation and the registration process.
These dedicated public servants helped to register 23,364 British Columbians with BC Transplant in 2017-18, exceeding their goal of 18,000. Since partnering with BC Transplant in 2015, Service BC has helped more than 60,000 British Columbians register their wishes for organ donation.
“Having more conversations about organ donation is one of the ways British Columbians can make a difference during this awareness week,” said Leanne Appleton, provincial executive director of BC Transplant. “We know the more conversations we have about organ donation, the more people register their decisions and let their loved ones know what their wishes are.”
According to BC Transplant and Canadian Blood Services, approximately 4,500 Canadians, including more than 600 British Columbians, are on a wait list for a life-saving transplant. Part of the challenge is that while 90% of Canadians approve of organ and tissue donation, only 20% have actually registered their decisions.
* The record number of lives saved in B.C. in 2017 is the result of an unprecedented number of deceased donors (121).
* These life-saving gifts contributed to a record number of lung transplants (52), liver transplants (80) and kidney transplants (225). These are the highest numbers of transplants ever performed in B.C.
* There were 19 heart transplants in 2017, and consistent with previous years, 97 living-donor kidney transplants performed in B.C.
* More than 1.2 million British Columbians have registered their wishes in the organ donor registry.
* Share the hashtag #Register2Give on social media to help raise awareness about registering as an organ donor.
* BC Transplant oversees all aspects of organ donation and transplant throughout British Columbia. British Columbians can also register their decision online: www.transplant.bc.ca