Canadian organ donations fall short of meeting demand: report
Published Thursday, March 17, 2016 10:01AM EDT
The disparity between the number of Canadians waiting for an organ transplant and the number of organ donations has been increasing over the last 10 years, with the biggest imbalance seen for kidney transplants, according to a new report.
The report, released Thursday by the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI), looked at statistics from the Canadian Organ Replacement Register from 2005 to 2014.
In particular, it examined donation data for kidneys, livers, heart, and lungs. The report compared how many transplants for each of these organs were performed each year, with how many patients were on the waiting list.
The report found the following:
- At the end of 2014, 35,281 Canadians (excluding Quebec) were living with end-stage kidney disease, representing a 38 per cent increase from 2005. Of these patients, 20,690 were on dialysis and 14,591 were living with a functioning kidney transplant.
- The disparity between patients waiting for a kidney transplant and the number of transplants performed is the greatest, with the number of patients on the waiting list approximately 2.5 times higher than the number of transplants performed. In 2014, 3,377 patients were on a waiting list, and 1,376 transplants had been performed.
- Both the number of kidney transplants performed and the number of patients on the waiting list steadily increased from 2005-2014.
(Source for all graphs: CIHI)
- At the end of 2014, there were 1,631 Canadians living with a lung transplant.
- By the end of the year, 226 lung transplants had been performed, and 300 patients were on a waiting list.
- Both the number of lung transplants performed and the number of patients on the waiting list steadily increased from 2005-2014.
- By the end of 2014, there were 6,146 Canadians living with a liver transplant.
- By the end of 2014, 537 liver transplants had been performed and 507 patients were on a waiting list.
- While the number of liver transplants performed increased from 2005-2014, the number of patients on the waiting list steadily decreased. Since 2012, the number of liver transplants performed in a year has exceeded the number of patients on a waiting list.
- At the end of 2014, there were 2,590 Canadians living with a transplanted heart.
- By the end of 2014, 161 heart transplants had been performed, and 177 patients were on a waiting list.
- The number of heart transplants performed has remained steady from 2005-2014, while the number of patients on a waiting list has steadily increased. In 2011, 2012, and 2014, the number of patients waiting for a heart transplant has exceeded the number of transplants performed in each year.
The report also included more general information about organ donation in Canada. It found that the deceased donor rate in 2014 was 16.7 donors per million, an increase of 31 per cent since 2005. The living donation rate in 2014, was 15.6 donors per million, and the rate has remained fairly constant from 2005-2014.