Organ and tissue donation information for health care professionals and high school educators
Health Care Professionals
A Transplant Coordinator is available on 24-hour call through the Health Sciences Centre paging system. Call (204) 787-2071.
Every year, thousands of people across Canada return to full, productive lives because they have received the gift of life -- an organ or tissue transplant. Many others died because their transplant did not come in time. As a health care professional, you have a direct role in the organ and tissue donation process -- with you help, we can save or enhance the quality of many lives. One person's decision to become an organ and tissue donor many benefit 10 or more people.
A vital organ transplant is often the only hope for patients with end-stage organ failure. Because organ donation rates in Canada remain static, the need for donated organs far exceeds availability. That's why your commitment to organ and tissue donation and the participation of your hospital in the process is so vital.
Transplants are now considered a well-proven, cost effective and highly successful medical procedure. There have been tremendous advances made in the past few years: a return to a normal life, or an enhanced quality of life, is achieved in more than 80 per cent of lung transplants and 90 per cent of corneal transplants. Manitoba's donor rate has been among the best in the country. From 1994 to 1996, the Manitoba Transplant Program had the highest donor rate, per million, in Canada. This has been accomplished by early referral from health care professionals to the Transplant Coordinator on Call.
As a health care professional, you may be called upon to ask a patient's next of kin to consider organ and tissue donation. Often this is the only positive option left for the family. While this prospect many seem uncomfortable, more families respond favorably to this initial discussion. Your role is not to ask the survivors to donate their loved ones' organs and tissues, only to introduce the concept. If a family responds positively to the initial discussion, then all you need to do is call the Transplant Coordinator on Call to provide detailed information for the family to make an informed decision.
Manitoba Education in partnership and collaboration with the Transplant Manitoba – Gift of Life Program and the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority is pleased to provide this learning resource to support Senior Years biology teachers and their students as they examine current issues and the human biology associated with organ donation and transplantation.
For a copy of the presentation noted in the Life is a Gift resource kit, please contact Jillian Barrott.
The Gift of Life school presentation
Transplant Manitoba does presentations on organ transplants to high school classes. Contact the Communications Coordinator, Jillian Barrott, to schedule a presentation.