Nova Scotia leads the country in organ donation

(Halifax, N.S.) – The generosity of Nova Scotians continues even after they have passed away, according to a new Organ Donation and Transplantation in Canada report that shows this province has the highest deceased donation rate in the country, based on per million population.

Canadian Blood Services and the Canadian Organ Donation and Transplant Network released the report Friday. The statistics included in Organ Donation and Transplantation in Canada: System Progress Report 2006–2015 show that Nova Scotia had more organ donations from deceased individuals than any other province last year, based on per million population.

The national report, which is the first of its kind, also shows that this province has the highest intent to donate rate in Canada, with 52 per cent of Nova Scotians registered on their provincial health cards to give the gift of life.

“Nova Scotia’s strong organ donation numbers are a reflection of the inherent kindness of the people who live here and diligent efforts by clinicians to identify opportunities and discuss organ donation with the families of potential donors,” said Dr. Stephen Beed, a critical care specialist and clinical advisor for Legacy of Life, the Nova Scotia Organ and Tissue Donation Program.

“That being said, there is still a greater need for organs in our province, and across the country, so we hope to see more Nova Scotians talking to their doctor and loved ones about becoming donors.”

Nova Scotia’s success is in part due to its province-wide referral network, the dedication of critical-care physicians and teams to ensuring families are offered the option of organ and tissue donation, as well as an overall cultural shift that has made becoming a donor broadly accepted and encouraged in this province.

The QEII Health Sciences Centre in Halifax has run a successful program for donations after circulatory death, or DCD, since 2010. It’s hoped this program can expand across the province.

The Multi-Organ Transplant Program, based at the QEII, serves all of Atlantic Canada. In 2015, the program was responsible for 109 transplants, with recipients coming from all four of the region’s provinces.

The Organ Donation and Transplantation in Canada findings show that the number of transplants across the country has gone up 23 per cent between 2006 and 2015, but there are still more than 4,600 patients currently waiting for organ donations.

In Nova Scotia, there are approximately 120 people waiting for transplants, with most needing kidney transplants.

To register as a donor, please visit Nova Scotia residents can also call MSI at 902-496-7008, or toll-free in Halifax Regional Municipality at 1-800-563-8880.
– 30 –
For media inquiries:
Kristen Lipscombe
Communications & Public Relations
Nova Scotia Health Authority
Toll free: 1-844-483-3344