Organs from deceased donors on rise, but rate for living donors down: report

TORONTO — A new report says the rate of deceased organ donations has risen substantially over the last decade in Canada, while the rate for living donors has declined.

The report by the Canadian Institute for Health Information and Canadian Blood Services shows that deceased organ donation increased by 42 per cent.

Since 2011, the number of deceased donors per million population in Canada has gone up steadily, with notable jumps in 2015 and 2016.

There were 758 deceased donors in Canada last year, providing almost 2,900 life-saving transplants. Each deceased donor can provide up to eight organs for transplantation.

However, the report shows there’s been an 11 per cent drop in the rate of living organ donations since 2007, with 544 donors in 2016. Living donors can provide a kidney or part of their liver.

Last year, there were 1,731 kidneys from deceased and living donors transplanted in Canada and more than 3,400 Canadians were still waiting for a transplant.

The CIHI report shows there were 37,647 Canadians outside Quebec living with end-stage kidney disease, up 36 per cent since 2007.

The number of people in need of a kidney transplant — which eliminates the need for dialysis — continues to significantly outpace the number of available organs.

“More work remains to be done in living and deceased donation so that more patients with a treatable disease receive a transplant and subsequently come off the wait list,” said Kimberly Young, director of organ donation and transplantation at Canadian Blood Services.