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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2005


    Hey all- thought I would post this to give a heads up to anyone waiting for a transplant in Canada, or have relatives who are. Although the US has been doing this for awhile, in Canada there has yet to be an organ transplant received from someone who wasn't brain dead, but died from other complications.

    The woman who passed on and whose family donated her organs was actually a patient on my boyfriend's floor when she was originally brought into the hospital, so he told me about this before it made the news.
    <H3>Ont. organ pool to include heart failure victims</H3>
    Updated Tue. Jun. 27 2006 8:21 PM ET
    CTV.ca News Staff

    In a bold move to address a major shortage of transplant organs, Ontario will become the first province in Canada to start accepting them from people who have died of heart failure.

    Changes in guidelines to accept so-called donation after cardio-circulatory death (DCD) could potentially expand the potential donor pool by hundreds, the provincial agency in charge of organ and tissue donations announced Tuesday.

    The move to allow such donations came after an Ottawa family asked that their daughter be allowed to fulfill her wish to become an organ donor after a sudden illness hospitalized her and placed her on life support.

    The Therien family decided to withdraw life support.

    They then approached the medical team at the Ottawa Hospital with the wishes of their daughter Sara Beth and urged them to take her kidneys.

    "The Therien family said literally, 'Why not? Why can't you make this happen?'," said Dr. Joe Pagliarello, medical director of Organ and Tissue Donation and co-chair of the Organ and Tissue Donation Committee at the Ottawa Hospital.

    "Donation after cardiac death ... marks a new era for organ donation in this wonderful country and that makes Sara Beth a pioneer -- way to go, sweetheart," her father Emile Therien said at a press conference held Tuesday at the Ottawa Hospital by The Trillium Gift of Life Network.

    He expressed his hope that such organ donations will be become more commonplace in the near future and give more "families the opportunity to fulfill their loved ones' donations wishes."

    A fall launch for the program is possible, Pagliarello said.

    "This can't happen for every patient, in fact we probably estimate that this may be possible for perhaps an additional 25 per cent of our donors," he said.

    "I hope, in the future to make this happen for every family. We will then have achieved our objective," Pagliarello said.

    Traditionally, doctors have retrieved transplant organs only from patients who they have declared brain dead -- when all brain function in the patient has ceased and there is no possibility of recovery.

    The donors' organs are then artificially maintained until they can be transplanted.

    Under the new criteria, the federal Canadian Council for Donation and Transplantation recommends: an absence of a pulse, blood pressure and respiration for five minutes, before two physicians pronounce the patient dead and the organs eligible for consideration.

    "It's long overdue," George Marcello, organ donation advocate and two-time liver transplant recipient, told CTV Newsnet. "Ontario's the first here but I'm hoping it will spread right across the country."

    Marcello created Step by Step, a group committed to increasing organ donor awareness, and has been actively campaigning for donation after cardio-circulatory death for several years.

    The council also has criteria for retrieving organs from people who have cardiac arrest after life support ends.

    Scientists at the Ottawa Hospital have estimated that if they had been able to retrieve organs from cardiac arrest patients, they would have had access to another 28 kidneys -- a 30 per cent increase -- over an 18-month period.

    In Ontario, there are nearly 1,800 patients waiting for an organ transplant. In 2004, 122 of them died.

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2006


    I have nothing but admiration for people who, in the middle of their grief, can find it in themselves to agree to their relatives' organs being donated. I'd like to think I could do the same.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    United States


    Yup, I am an organ donor in the US. They just ask you when you renew your driver's license if you would like to be a donor. I figure that if I can do anything to save someone elses life I will...You don't take your vital organs with you when you die for crying out loud!!
    We have got to be able to laugh at ourselves about this!!



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