Supporting Healthcare

The educational resources developed by Trillium Gift of Life Network (TGLN) assist Healthcare Professionals from all disciplines to increase their knowledge about organ and tissue donation. Whether you work in a critical care unit, an emergency department, the perioperative environment, or on a general in-patient unit, the material contained in this section includes information and knowledge that is relevant for your area of practice.

Continuing Education
The Trillium Gift of Life Network offers a self-help eLearning tool, education manuals and a video providing information on tissue donation.

Transplantation Referral and Listing Criteria

The following patient referral and listing criteria are guidelines which Health Care Providers would utilize to refer a patient to a transplant centre for assessment and assess the suitability of potential candidates for various types of transplantation.

Referral and Notification

If you are a designated hospital calling TGLN with a patient who meets Referral Indicators, or have a patient who you believe is a potential donor call:

Toll free (1-877-363-8456)
GTA (416-363-4438)

Icon Megaphone

Routine Notification for
Donation Eligibility

Hospitals that are designated facilities under the TGLN Act must meet the referral provisions detailed under Part II.1 - Notice and Consent. These hospitals have, or will have ‘Routine Notification’ mandated throughout their centre. This means hospitals are responsible for calling and notifying TGLN when a patient has died, or prior to death according to their established referral indicators.

Notifying TGLN ensures donation eligibility can be established. Donation consent decisions can be accessed in the Ontario Health Insurance Plan database before families of eligible patients are approached by TGLN about donation opportunities. Since 2005, this practice has helped maximize organ and tissue donation for transplantation in Ontario.

Learn more about routine notification for donation eligibility.

Designated Facilities

Ontario Regulation 179/05 has identified six classes of facilities for the purposes of the Trillium Gift of Life Network Act. They are:

  • Any hospital that provides neuro-surgical or trauma services.

  • Any hospital that does not meet the requirements set out in Section 1 and that is able to make a neurological determination of death (NDD) in accordance with the medically accepted standards for NDD in Ontario.

  • Any hospital that does not meet the requirements set in Sections 1 or 2.

  • Any hospital, health facility or university that participates in the collection, screening, processing, storage or distribution of tissue for transplantation.

  • Any hospital that transplants organs for the direct clinical benefit of patients.

  • Laboratories (Laboratory Licensing Act) performing screening tests for infectious diseases and/or histocompatibility testing.

Determination of Death

Organ and tissue donation is possible following the pronouncement of death using neurological determination of death (NDD) criteria or in planned situations of withdrawal of life sustaining therapy followed by pronouncement of death after cardiocirculatory arrest (DCD).

Neurological Determination of Death

Neurologically determined death is defined as the “irreversible loss of the capacity for consciousness combined with the irreversible loss of all brainstem functions, including the capacity to breathe” (Canadian Neurocritical Care Group 1999). Previously, the terms “brain death”, “neurological death” and “death by neurological criteria” were used interchangeably.

After Cardiac Death

In Ontario, organ and tissue donation after cardiac death (DCD) is now a possibility for patients who do not meet the strict criteria for neurological or brain death. Patients who meet the criteria for DCD are critically ill and dependent on mechanical ventilation. DCD is a possibility for families who have decided to withdraw life sustaining therapy after a physician has determined that there is no long-term prognosis for recovery.

Neurological Death Book

Continuing Education

Trillium Gift of Life Network (TGLN) is committed to supporting the learning opportunities for healthcare professionals across Ontario. By using these education materials, you can enhance your knowledge of the merits of donation which ultimately leads to saving and enriching lives.


Organ Donation in Ontario: A Guide for Critical Care Residents

This interactive e-book was developed by TGLN in collaboration with the Royal College of Physicians as a tool to provide education to physicians. The following link contains chapters on Neurological Determination of Death and Donor Management.

Learning Scenarios

The purpose of these education modules are to provide clinicians with the opportunity to consider the implications of caring for potential organ donors while working through virtual patient scenarios.

The following links contain learning scenarios on Neurological Determination of Death and Donor Managment.


title Description
Donation Resource Manual

The Donation Resource Manual was developed by TGLN as a tool to support healthcare professionals in hospitals across Ontario. Download pdf to print.

Paediatric Donation Resource Manual

The Paediatric Donation Resource Manual was developed by TGLN as a tool to support healthcare professionals in hospitals across Ontario. Download pdf to print.

Tissue Donation Resource Manual

The Tissue Donation Resource Manual was developed by TGLN as a tool to support healthcare professionals in hospitals across Ontario. Download pdf to print.


Critical Care Canada Forum - Deceased Donation Symposium Videos

Presentation: The Brain Death Concept- History and Controversies
Presenter: Dr. E. Wijdicks 
1st Presentation: Canadian and Provincial Deceased Donation Data Update Presenter: Dr. S. Beed
2nd Presentation: Diagnostic Errors in Brain Death Presenter: Dr. E. Wijdicks
Panel Discussion: Donation Support Physician on Call: What would you do? Panelists: Dr. S. Dhanani, Dr. A. Healey, Dr. S. Beed, Dr. G. Isac and Dr. JF. Lizé

See All Videos


TGLN - Tissue Donation -- Saving and Transforming Lives in Ontario.

Coroner Education (5:26 min)
Introduction (1:00 min)
Tissue Recipient (1:19 min)
Donor Families (3:10 min)

See All Videos


This eLearning module has been created for independent self study. It takes approximately 20-30 minutes to complete and at the end of the module you are invited to take a quiz which offers a printed certificate for a mark of 80% or more. Note: You must view this e-module in its entirety to receive the certificate.

Click on one of the following choices to enter the module:

I care for patients and families in a critical care unit/emergency department setting
I care for patients and families in a ward setting

*** Please note that the TGLN eLearning platform has been optimized to run on Google Chrome and Internet Explorer 9 (or later). TGLN has endeavored to ensure maximum compatibility on other browsers, and appreciates your understanding should the functions of the module not be fully compatible with systems outside the recommended browsers. Please note that the TGLN eLearning module may not be fully compatible behind certain firewalls.


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