Trillium Gift of Life Network, part of Ontario Health, is responsible for delivering and coordinating organ and tissue donation and transplantation services across the province, as well as for planning, promoting and supporting all health care and allied professionals, advocates and the Ontario public in fulfilling their shared and integrated responsibilities in saving the lives of Ontarians waiting for a life-saving transplant.
Please call Trillium Gift of Life Network’s Provincial Resource Centre, toll free, at 1-877-363-8456. They are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to answer your questions.
Organs and tissue that can be donated include the heart, kidneys, liver, lungs, pancreas, small intestines, eyes, bone, skin, and heart valves.
Everyone is a potential donor regardless of age, medical condition or sexual orientation. Even individuals with serious illnesses can sometimes be donors. Your decision to register should not be based on whether you think you would be eligible or not. All potential donors are evaluated on an individual, medical, case-by-case basis.
Yes, regulations set by Health Canada for blood donation differ from organ and tissue donation. Everyone has the potential to be a donor regardless of age, sexual orientation or medical status. Your decision to register should not be based on whether you think you would be eligible or not. Everyone is assessed at the time of death for medical suitability.
By registering consent for organ and tissue donation, you give hope to the thousands of Ontarians waiting for a transplant. Individuals on the transplant wait list are suffering from organ failure and without the generous gift of life from an organ donor, they will die. Tissue donors can also enhance the lives of recovering burn victims, help restore sight, and allow people to walk again. Transplants not only save lives, they return recipients to productive lives.
Organs or tissue not suitable for transplantation can be used for organ and tissue research (if indicated by donor upon registration). This research is specific to the field of organ and tissue donation, and is not the same as whole body donation.
If you are already registered, you do not need to register again. If you would like to confirm your registration, it takes two minutes at www.BeADonor.ca. You will need to enter your health card number and date of birth.
Paper donor cards are no longer in use as they often were not available when needed. In 2008, Trillium Gift of Life Network adopted an affirmative registry and now your consent to donate organs and tissue is stored in a Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care database. By formally registering, either online at www.BeADonor.ca or in person at any ServiceOntario location, you ensure that your decision is recorded and can be made available to your loved ones at the right time. You only need to register once.
There are two ways to check if you are already registered as an organ and tissue donor:
1. On the www.BeADonor.ca home page choose “Check Now.” This will take you to the ServiceOntario online registration page. Click on “Register, check or update your consent online.” The system will ask for identification. Enter in that information, and click on “Check or Update Registration.” If your registration has been processed, the system will respond, “Yes, you are a registered organ and tissue donor.” (If not, the system will then ask you if you wish to register.)
2. You can also check the back of your photo health card. If the word “Donor” is present, you are registered and do not need
to register again.
When you register as an organ and tissue donor, you can provide consent for the use of your organs and tissues for transplant only, or transplant and organ and tissue research. You are also given the opportunity to consent to any needed organs and tissues, or exempt organs and tissue from a list provided. The code on the back of the photo health card represents these decisions.
Z9 and 9Z are the most common codes. Z9 indicates that a person has consented to any needed organs and tissues to be used for transplant only, while 9Z indicates that a person has consented for any needed organs and tissues be used for transplant and organ and tissue research. The complete list of codes can be found here.
If the system is not able to register you online, it may ask you to contact ServiceOntario directly. There are a number of reasons that might prevent you from registering online. Visit any ServiceOntario location to register in person.
You can update or withdraw your consent at any time at www.BeADonor.ca, simply choose “Check or Update Registration” on the home page. You can also visit any ServiceOntario centre to update or withdraw in person. You can also withdraw your consent by mailing a letter to the below address with your name, date of birth, health card number and mailing address.
Organ Donor Consent
P.O. Box 48
Kingston, ON K7L 5J3
Trillium Gift of Life Network manages organ and tissue donation in Ontario. If you live outside of the province, please contact the organ procurement agency in your jurisdiction. A full list can be found here.
In order to register consent in Ontario, you must have a valid Ontario health card. This is because the registered consent will be stored in a Ministry of Health and Long Term Care database. Without an Ontario health card, you will not be able to formally register. However, it is important to talk to your family about your wishes. When someone passes away and donation is possible, an Organ and Tissue Donation Coordinator will approach families to talk about donation. By talking to your family about your wishes, you can help relieve the burden of making that choice without confirmation of your wishes.
Though everyone has the potential to be an organ donor, the reality is that the opportunity for organ donation is rare. Only 2-3% of hospital deaths occur in a way that allows for donation, as deceased organ donation can only take place when an individual dies in a hospital and on a ventilator. Vital organs require blood flow in order to keep them suitable for transplant.
There is a far greater opportunity for tissue donation, which is possible if an individual passes away in a hospital (but not on a ventilator) or at home. Tissue includes eyes, bone, skin and heart valves.
The first and foremost concern for health care professionals caring for critically ill patients is to do everything possible to save lives. The possibility of donation is only considered when all lifesaving efforts have failed.
When an Organ and Tissue Donation Coordinator is preparing to speak with a family about donation, they will access the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care database to see if their loved one was a registered donor. That information would be shared with the family and they would be asked to reaffirm that choice. Once consent is given, medical tests are completed to determine what organs and tissues are suitable for transplant. The organs are then matched with someone on the transplant wait list and surgery takes place in an operating room at the hospital. The entire donation process, from the time the family agrees to move forward with donation to recovery, typically takes about 24 to 36 hours to complete.
It is Trillium Gift of Life Network’s practice to reaffirm an individual’s consent to donate with the family. In descending order of priority, the appropriate legal authority may be as follows:
1. The patient’s spouse or same-sex partner.
2. A child of the patient.
3. A parent of the patient.
4. A brother or sister of the patient.
5. Any other relative of the patient.
6. Any person who is lawfully in possession of the body (e.g., an executor of the will, or administrator of the estate).
In cases where there is no next of kin for the deceased, donation can proceed when registered consent has been recorded with the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care database.
When you register your consent to donate, this information is recorded and stored in a Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care database. Your decision will only be accessed should there be potential for donation, and your status as a registered donor will be shared with your family. It is Trillium Gift of Life Network's practice to reaffirm an individual's consent to donate with the family. In most cases, families honour their loved ones' decision to donate if they have evidence that it's what they wanted.
Register as an organ donor and talk to your family about your wishes; one day this act could save a life.
Eligibility to donate is assessed at the time of death from information obtained during a medical social questionnaire completed with families. In addition, every organ is tested for suitability to ensure that as many people as possible can be helped through transplant.
Trillium Gift of Life Network will work with transplant centres to match the tissue and blood type of the donor to an individual(s) on the wait list. Medical urgency, blood type/group, the size of the organ, and the relative distance (of a prospective match) all form the basic criteria for organ allocation. If a match is found, the individual(s) who, for medical reasons, is the sickest will receive the donated organ. If the medical urgency is the same, the individual who has been on the wait list the longest will receive the organ. If there is no suitable match within Ontario, a check is made through databases of prospective recipients across Canada and possibly in the United States, in order to save lives.
Trillium Gift of Life Network’s practice is to allocate organs first to patients who may need them most. In very rare circumstances, TGLN may facilitate directed deceased donation on a case-by-case basis. Each potential directed deceased donation case needs to meet the following criteria:
- The designated recipient is a family member, or an individual with a long-standing emotional relationship;
- The donation will still proceed if directed donation cannot be realized;
- There are no other patients in urgent clinical need of the organ (death is determined to be imminent within 72 hours);
- The intended recipient is on the wait list or meets the listing criteria; and
- The donor organ is medically compatible for the intended recipient.
There are no costs to the donor’s family for organ and tissue donation. However, expenses related to funeral arrangements remain the responsibility of the donor’s family.
The body is released to the family, and funeral arrangements can continue as planned.
Organ and tissue donation does not impact funeral plans. Cremation and an open casket funeral are both possible.
• Organ recovery from the abdomen or chest usually involves one surgical incision that clothing would cover.
• When corneas are donated, typically the whole globe of the eye is removed. Funeral homes provide eye caps to maintain the shape
and form of the eyes. This is usual practice whether eyes are donated or not.
• The appearance of the skin after recovery is similar to that of sunburn. A paper-thin layer of skin is removed from the back of the
body permitting an open casket funeral.
Trillium Gift of Life Network’s mandate and jurisdiction remain strictly within the province of Ontario. If you wish to be an organ and tissue donor, and your death occurs outside the province of Ontario, you may still be considered for donation. That will depend upon the presence and availability of donation programs in that country. It is very important to share your wishes with your family so they understand what you would want to have happen in any situation.
A foreign citizen who dies in Ontario could also be an organ/tissue donor, if the family gives the final consent.
Many hospitals across Ontario are equipped with advanced ventilator capacity necessary to maintain the viability of organs for transplant. If an individual is identified as a potential donor in a hospital that does not have the capability of facilitating donation, Trillium Gift of Life Network will pay the cost of transporting the potential donor to the nearest hospital that does have the capability. This is only done with the support and consent of a family.
All major religions support organ and tissue donation because it can save the life of another. If your religion restricts the use of a body after death, consult your religious leader: these restrictions may not include organ and tissue donation, if the donation could save another life. More information can be found here.
There are two main ways people choose to donate after they die: organ and tissue donation and whole body donation. Trillium Gift of Life Network manages organ and tissue donation. More information on whole body donation can be found here.
Saving lives through organ and/or tissue donation is possible for those who choose to receive medical assistance in dying. Your suitability to be a donor will be determined based on your medical status, diagnosis and history.
Once you have expressed your interest in donation, Trillium Gift of Life Network (TGLN) will work with you and your doctor or nurse practitioner to support your wishes and determine how they can be met. TGLN will also be able to advise you on any possible additional testing that may be required in order to be a donor, as well as other considerations that may impact your plan for assisted dying.
It is important that you make your decision to donate known to your family and your doctor or nurse practitioner as part of your process so that TGLN can be contacted on your behalf.
Organ transplantation is a surgical procedure that places a healthy organ from a donor into the body of a person in need.
It is impossible to predict exactly how long you will have to wait for an organ once you have been added to the wait list, but most patients wait months to years to receive a transplant. Factors affecting wait times include donor-recipient matching and the health of the patient.
Tissue wait lists are managed by individual physicians. Trillium Gift of Life Network coordinates the recovery of the tissue and ensures that it is delivered to the appropriate tissue bank which will process and distribute the tissue across the province for transplantation.
Many factors are considered when matching an organ to a potential recipient. While the specific criteria differ for various organs, matching criteria generally include:
• Blood type and size of the organ(s) needed
• Time spent waiting for a transplant
• The relative distance between donor and recipient
For certain organs other factors are vital, including:
• The medical urgency of the recipient
• The risk of organ rejection
• Whether the recipient is a child or an adult
Please refer to our patient infographics for more information about organ matching.
Once the transplant physicians make the decision to list a patient, that person is then registered on the wait list database that is managed by Trillium Gift of Life Network. Patients on the wait list are categorized by factors such as blood type, health status and length of time waiting.
Hospitals notify Trillium Gift of Life Network that there is a potential donor and specially trained coordinators work with family members to offer the opportunity to proceed with organ donation. After the family has given their consent, a complex matching process is initiated to determine the best possible recipient for each available organ and limit the chances of rejection. This process is based upon a set of algorithms and rules developed by transplant experts across the province.
Trillium Gift of Life Network facilitates the donation case, recovery of the organ, and the transportation of the organ to the transplant site - right up to delivery to the operating room where the patient receives the transplant.
All costs for the surgery, whether for donation after death or for living donation, are covered under Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP), for all Ontarians (i.e., citizens of Ontario) who qualify for health care. In the case of living donation, the recipient’s OHIP coverage will also cover the cost of a donor from another country – but only when that donor is in Ontario. OHIP does not cover the travel costs or the required preliminary tests for that donor (in the country of origin).
• Kingston Health Sciences Centre
• London Health Sciences Centre
• St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton
• The Ottawa Hospital
• The Hospital for Sick Children
• Unity Health Toronto
• University Health Network
• University of Ottawa Heart Institute
There are three different donation scenarios:
- Deceased organ donation takes place when someone suffers a traumatic event, such as a stroke or severe head injury, which progresses to neurologically determined death, or “brain death.” The patient, though deceased, is maintained with the help of mechanical support (e.g., a ventilator, or breathing device) to keep oxygenated blood flowing to vital organs for a limited time until donation can take place. As of 2006, DCD (Donation after Death by Circulatory Determination) is now also an option for organ and tissue donation. DCD offers families the option of donation in situations where neurological criteria for death have not been met, but the decision to withdraw life sustaining treatment has been made.
- Tissue donation can take place when someone has succumbed to either neurologically determined death or cardiopulmonary death. With tissue donation, there is no need for blood flow to be maintained after death.
- Living donation takes place when someone donates an organ or part of an organ to another person and goes on to lead a healthy life. For example, individuals with two healthy kidneys may be able to donate one of their kidneys to a loved one or close friend. Similarly, a healthy individual may donate a portion of his/her liver (lobe). It is interesting to note that the liver, in both the donor and recipient, will regenerate to full size within months.
- Vascularized Composite Allotransplantation (VCA) is the transplantation of multiple tissues such as muscle, bone, nerve and skin as a functional unit. Examples of VCA include upper limb (hand), facial tissue and abdominal wall.
Organ donation after Death by Circulatory Determination (DCD) is now an opportunity to donate organs for families who have decided to withdraw life support for a loved one after a physician has determined that there is no long-term prognosis for recovery. DCD may also be possible for patients who do not meet the full criteria for brain/neurological death. Improved medications and surgical techniques have dramatically improved the outcomes for recipients of DCD-recovered organs. DCD is widely accepted in the United States, and donation rates have increased by as much as 20% because of the acceptance of DCD in organ and tissue donation and recovery.
Neurological death involves the irreversible loss of brain stem reflexes, such as cough, gag, pupillary response to light and response to painful stimuli.
- The capacity for consciousness has been irreversibly lost.
- The ability to breathe is no longer present (apneic) and mechanical ventilation is required.
- A known etiology capable of causing death by neurologic criteria must be established.
- To preserve the opportunity for donation, ventilation and IV medication to support hemodynamics must continue.
- The time of the first completed determination of neurological death is the legal time of death for that person. This is the time that is written on the death certificate.
- Prior to organ donation, neurological death is always diagnosed by two physicians.
Many conditions may result in neurological death. Some of the most common include:
- Intracranial hemorrhage
- Cerebral ischemia
- Traumatic brain injury
- Brain tumor
- CNS infection
Contact TGLN to determine donation potential and to learn the patient’s registered donation decision on the back of their Ontario Health Card and in the OHIP database. To donate organs, the patient must be on a ventilator and their heart must continue to beat; organs need to be perfused with oxygenated blood until they are recovered for transplant.
Statistics show a joint approach involving a member of the healthcare team and a TGLN coordinator with special training on speaking to families about donation is the most successful method in offering the opportunity for donation.
TGLN's Provincial Resource Centre (PRC), staffed 24/7 by a team of Clinical Services Coordinators is responsible for intake of organ and tissue donation referrals, and facilitates donation, including recovery of organs and tissue for donation. The PRC supports health care professionals; obtains consent for donation; facilitates donor testing and screening; coordinates essential logistics; and by telephone, offers organs and tissues to transplant programs and tissue banks respectively. The PRC is also responsible for looking up potential donors' registered consent decision on the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care's database.
Call when there is a plan for mechanically ventilated patients to perform testing to confirm neurological death OR set a planned time with the family for withdrawal of life sustaining therapy (extubation or removing ventilator or IV medication supporting hemodynamics).
Other times to call TGLN:
- As per hospital policy and/or established Clinical Triggers
- Prior to offering the opportunity for donation to families
- When the patient/family is requesting information about organ and tissue donation
- Within one hour of the patient’s death
- As per hospital policy and/or established Clinical Triggers
- When the patient/family is requesting information about organ and tissue donation
During the initial call:
- TGLN will collect demographic information and ask baseline questions to determine if there is the opportunity to donate tissue
- A TGLN number will be provided to document in the medical chart
Once preliminary eligibility to donate tissue has been established:
- A TGLN coordinator who is a specialist in the area of both donation and speaking with families will arrange with the healthcare provider to speak to the family by phone while they are at the hospital
- If the family is not at the hospital, the healthcare provider will be asked to provide contact information to TGLN for follow-up with the family
- Blood samples as well as eye care instructions may be requested by TGLN
- TGLN will collect further information about the patient’s current admission and past medical history prior to contacting the families in situations where the family is not at the hospital
- As directed by TGLN, the body is then transferred to the morgue while the recovery is organized (eyes may be recovered on the unit where death occurred)
- An operating room is required for the recovery of skin, bone and cardiac tissue
- Recovery staff and OR will be arranged by TGLN
- Upon request, TGLN will contact family when recovery is complete
- TGLN (or the Eye Bank of Canada, if appropriate) will send a letter to the family to thank them for the donation and to inform them of the donation outcome
TGLN has organized the order of the clinical history questions and has worksheets available to help hospital staff streamline the process. This enables TGLN to determine if the person is eligible for donation for transplant, or research and teaching.
Yes. Consistent with the Gift of Life Act, telephone consent requires two witnesses to confirm the patient substitute’s identity and document consent for donation. The Provincial Resource Centre at TGLN always has a second TGLN staff member available to enable telephone consent.
Hospitals who have implemented Routine Notification are required to report every impending patient death to TGLN so that specially trained staff can identify potential donors and approach families to re-affirm consent. In late 2010, the Auditor General of Ontario recommended the expansion of Routine Notification to all hospitals with advanced ventilator capacity (necessary to maintain the viability of organs for transplant). Work continues to roll this program out across the province, with 69 hospitals on board.
Specially trained coordinators in the Provincial Call Centre are the first point of contact for hospital referrals, allowing TGLN to immediately begin work to determine a patient’s eligibility for organ and tissue donation.
Research indicates that experience and a person’s comfort level in speaking to families about donation impacts both the family’s experience and its choice to donate tissue. Under the Gift of Life Act regarding the discussion of donation, TGLN has the authority to specify the manner in which contact with the family is made. TGLN coordinators receive quarterly training in approaching families both by telephone and in person. As a result, the TGLN coordinators have higher positive consent outcomes than hospital staff when they approach families.
The ultimate responsibility for speaking with families belongs to TGLN. In situations where a healthcare provider indicates the family does not wish to donate, a TGLN coordinator may contact the family to ensure the family had the information needed to make an informed decision (e.g., a registered consent decision to donate by their loved one).
Yes. The Program for Reimbursing Expenses of Living Organ Donors (PRELOD) was launched in April 2008 to provide reimbursement of qualified expenses that may include: travel, parking, transit, meals, accommodation, and a loss of income subsidy. For program details please contact the PRELOD Administrator at firstname.lastname@example.org, or at 1-888-9-PRELOD / 416-619-2342.
Eligible visits include visits to an Ontario hospital with a living donation transplant program where a person undergoes specific testing for the purposes of organ donation. Expenses related to attending a visit to a transplant hospital are considered ‘eligible’ after the transplant hospital has determined that you are suitable to undergo further testing as a living organ donor based on your health history and blood type. The transplant hospital will document the date of each of eligible visit, the purpose of your visit, and verify that the appointment has not been cancelled. This information will be documented on the Appointment Verification Form.
Any person who donates or intends to donate an organ or part of an organ to an Ontario resident covered by the Ontario Health Insurance Program (OHIP) can apply to PRELOD. These includes potential donors who were accepted by a transplant program for further assessment and proceeded to be assessed and evaluated for the purposes of living donation, but were unable to proceed to surgery.
Ontario residents who donate an organ to a recipient from another province are not eligible for PRELOD. Please contact the living donation program where you donated your organ to learn about living donor reimbursement programs available across Canada.
• Travel (mileage, bus, train, public transit, taxi, shuttle, rideshare services and parking).
• Lost income during recovery
• OPTIFAST® reimbursement is available for living liver donors.
All claims must meet the requirements as set out by the PRELOD policy. In special circumstances, PRELOD may consider reimbursement to non-working living donors for childcare expenses.
At this point in time, expenses such as prescriptions are not covered by PRELOD.
The purpose of PRELOD is to assist in reducing the financial burden associated with living donation. PRELOD is a last resort program available after all other sources of funding – public or private – have been exhausted. PRELOD has been designed to meet reasonable expenses incurred during the donation process, but there may be exceptional expenses which are not covered.
Actual donors are eligible for the PRELOD loss of income subsidy only after surgery and it does not cover time off work for testing and evaluation prior to surgery. The loss of income subsidy is intended to assist those who experience a loss of income after surgery and have no other sources to support their needs. Other sources of income include but are not limited to: paid time off work (including sick and vacation time), disability benefits and Employment Insurances. Eligible applicants can apply for the loss of income subsidy after surgery for any 8-weeks in a 14-week period, but not prior to surgery.
The loss of income subsidy is available to employed or self-employed actual living organ donors who experience a loss of income after surgery, and have no other income sources available to them. The loss of income subsidy is not available to non-working actual living donors.
Reimbursement is calculated in accordance to the policy and guidelines established by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. Claims are reimbursed in accordance with the PRELOD policy. Reimbursement of eligible out-of-pocket expenses and the loss of income after surgery subsidy are subject to the PRELOD policy guidelines. All categories have an upper limit that can be claimed. For further details on eligibility criteria please review the PRELOD policy.
Trillium Gift of Life Network administers a Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care program (Transplant Patient Expense Reimbursement or TPER) to reimburse patients waiting for heart, heart-lung, or lung, and small bowel transplantation who are required to relocate near the transplant hospital for the purposes of transplantation. Patients may apply for reimbursement of qualified relocation accommodation expenses incurred as of May 1, 2009. For more information: TPER Background and TPER Application Form.
PRELOD covers expenses incurred for appointments to a living donation program for living donor testing, a living donor procedure, or follow-up visits, up to 12 months after the procedure.
If you have been assessed by an Ontario transplant program and have donated an organ to an Ontario resident, you may apply for financial assistance.
Yes, under FIPPA, there is a $5 non-refundable application fee. Additionally, TGLN may charge additional fees for search and preparation time, and other fees as permitted under FIPPA.
You will be notified if the processing fees will exceed $25. For estimates in excess of $100, you will be asked to provide a deposit of 50%.
Examples of fees permitted and associated costs include, but are not limited to:
Photocopies and computer printouts 20 cents per page
Manually searching records $7.50 for each 15 mins spent by any person
For preparing records for disclosure $7.50 for each 15 mins spent by any person
You have 30 days from the receipt of TGLN’s response to request a review of our decision by the Information and Privacy Commissioner (IPC) of Ontario. The Commissioner can be reached at:
Information and Privacy Commissioner Ontario
2 Bloor Street East, Suite 1400
Toronto, ON M4W 1A8
Tel: (416) 326-3333 Fax: (416) 325-9195
If you decide to appeal the decision to the IPC, please provide the Commissioner’s office with a (i) A copy of the original request you sent to TGLN; ii) The request number assigned to the request; iii) A copy of this decision letter; and iv) The appeal fee in the amount of $25.00.
If the records you seek relates to a deceased individual, TGLN requires confirmation as to whether that individual has a personal representative (eg. Executor/estate trustee) and information as to how to contact that individual.
If you are the personal representative of the deceased individual’s Estate, in order to process your request, TGLN requires evidence of the same. Evidence may include a copy of the individual’s Last Will and Testament or a Certificate of Appointment of Estate Trustee with a Will/Certificate of Appointment of Estate Trustee Without a Will. TGLN is unable to proceed to process any requests for personal information regarding a deceased individual without the above information, in addition to the Access to Information Request Form and $5 processing fee.
Coronaviruses are spread mainly from person to person through close contact. There are actions that can help prevent the spread of germs that cause respiratory illnesses. Take these everyday steps to reduce exposure to the virus and protect your health:
• Get vaccinated
• Practice physical distancing by remaining 2m away from those who are not part of your household
• Wash your hands with soap and water and use alcohol-based hand sanitizer when in public
• Wear a mask or other face covering in public indoor spaces
• Stay home if you can
• Limit travel and isolate for 14 days if you have to travel
If you start to feel symptoms of COVID-19
If you begin to feel symptoms of COVID-19, you should stay home and self-isolate immediately and take a self-assessment to help determine how to seek further care.
Please visit: Ontario.ca/coronavirus for more information.
Yes, both donation recoveries and transplant surgeries are proceeding. Transplant surgeries are life-saving and opportunities for donation cannot be deferred. Additional testing and practices have been put in place to safeguard the system. The situation is being carefully reviewed on a constant basis to ensure that those who are in immediate need of a transplant have the potential to receive one and those whose lives are not in immediate danger are not put at increased risk.
Additional steps have been implemented during the potential organ donor screening process related to COVID-19. Organ donation from a patient identified as being high risk will not proceed. Organ donation and COVID-19 donor testing will be performed on all other donors in addition to screening.
One donor can save 8 lives and transform up to 75 others and registering to be an organ and tissue donor gives hope to the 1,600 Ontarians waiting for an organ transplant. It means you are deciding to help someone in need of a transplant if and when you have the opportunity to donate in the future.
Donated organs are scarce and publicly entrusted gifts. Transplant recipients have to follow many specialized recommendations for medications and vaccinations that reduce the risk of harm from infection after transplant.
Ontario Health (Trillium Gift of Life Network) is in the process of developing a clinical guidance document supporting vaccination while recommending each transplant centre proceed case by case, based on medical urgency and an evaluation of risks to the patient. The guidelines were developed in consultation with a variety of experts including those specializing in infectious diseases and bioethics.
Ontario Health (Trillium Gift of Life Network) strongly recommends that potential transplant recipients be vaccinated and informed about the risks of COVID-19 and the benefits of vaccination. Scientific data indicate that the risk of being hospitalized with severe COVID-19 is several folds greater and the risk of death two to five times greater in transplant patients than in the general population.