Last year more than 1900 Canadians received a life-saving transplant, yet 3400 people were on the wait list.
Some just couldn’t hang on long enough as 161 people died, including five children.
The reality is Canada’s deceased organ donor rate ranks in the bottom half of western world countries, below countries like Spain, Belgium and the United States.
Short-term survival of all transplant patients is excellent – between 80 to 95% of patients are doing well one year post transplant. However, long term success is still an elusive goal. While kidney transplants seem to do better, 10 year survival for heart transplant patients is around 50-60%. Lung transplants are about 30%.
In April, Ottawa made a $13.8 million announcement that could prove to be the game changer for transplant research in this country. The Canadian National Transplant Research Program brings together more than 100 investigators from nine provinces, the brightest minds in all aspects of the field. From the ethics of dying to cell regeneration, these scientists and clinicians are working towards the common goal – how can we make transplant a cure?
The CNTRP consists of six main areas of research:
- increase the availability of transplants
- exend the life of these transplanted organs
- improve long-term survival and quality of life of transplant patients
- develop and enhance the pool of transplant researchers and clinicians
- integrate and coordinate transplantation research nationwide
To register as an organ donor, click here.
To watch all five stories from Elaine Yong’s series on transplant research, click here.
© Shaw Media, 2013