Advertisement

One millionth organ donor to register in B.C. today

Should Canada have an opt out organ donation program?
Leon Neal/AFP/Getty Images

It’s a major milestone for BC’s Organ Donor Registry: the one millionth donor is expected to register today.

This major breakthrough will be celebrated by transplant recipients, government officials and representatives from the Provincial Health Services Authority and BC Transplant in Vancouver this morning.

2015 was a record year for BC Transplant, with 422 patients receiving transplanted organs. Just a couple of weeks ago, a doctor at Vancouver’s St. Paul’s Hospital performed three heart transplants in 24 hours, the first such attempt in B.C. history.

So far this year, 196 transplants have already been performed, but over 600 British Columbians are currently on the wait list for an organ transplant.

BC Transplant says some organs that could be available for transplant are lost because the decision of the loved one is not known by their family. Many of those waiting for a solid organ transplant die before a suitable organ is available for transplant.

Story continues below advertisement

WATCH: This past year was a record-breaking year for BC Transplant. As Aaron McArthur reports, several companies are encouraging new employees to sign up to give the gift of life. 

A 10-year study by the Canadian Institute for Health Information released earlier this year showed organ donations and transplants are up across Canada, but in some cases, so too are the wait lists.

READ MORE: Organ donations and transplants up in Canada, along with need: Report

According to the Canadian Transplant Society, 90 per cent of Canadians support organ and tissue donation, but less than 20 per cent have made plans to donate.

In April, Global News launched its #48in48 campaign to start 48,000 conversations about organ donation in 48 hours and get more Canadians to sign up as organ donors.

Story continues below advertisement

ICBC also launched a pilot program in March to help British Columbians register to become organ donors.

To register to become an organ donor, go here.

To register your decision you need:
  • your BC Personal Health Number
  • your name, birth date and address
  • to be at least 19 years old – or have a parent/guardian sign on the minor’s behalf
  • if you are a member of the military and you do not have a BC PHN, please complete a paper form and mail it to BC Transplant – we will complete the registration process once we receive your form