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Ontario reached record number of organ donors in 2014

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TORONTO – A record number of lives in Ontario were saved through organ donation in 2014.

The Trillium Gift of Life Network says 265 organ donors helped to save the lives of more than 1,000 people — up from 225 donors the year before.

Tissue donation was also up from 1,853 in 2013 to 2,010 in 2014.

Ronnie Gavsie, the president of Gift of Life, said disclosing donation numbers has helped their campaign.

“We have learned that you treasure what you measure and when hospital performance is made transparent, hospital performance has improved,” Gavsie said.

But provincial health officials say more than 1,500 Ontarians continue to be on the waiting list.

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READ MORE: Is social media the latest frontier in organ donation?

“It is important that we all take two minutes to register to donate, so that all Ontarians can count on the system to be there for them and their loved-ones in their time of need,” said Dr. Eric Hoskins, Ontario’s Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, in a media release.

Health officials say one organ donor can save up to eight lives and help up to 75 more through tissue donation.

Still, a recent study by the Canadian Institute for Health Information finds only a third of people who are clinically eligible to donate an organ actually become a donor.

READ MORE: Organ donation shortfalls in Ontario hospitals without transplant programs

Authors of the report indicate the organ donation process is complex and involves identifying potential donors, getting consent from the families and procuring the organs around the time of death.

With a file from The Canadian Press

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