© Canadian Press graphic
A new report says the number of transplant procedures rose by five per cent in 2012 from the prior year. The Canadian Press has prepared this graphic that demonstrates organs required by Canadians in 2012 from the Canadian Institute for Health.
Canadian Institute for Health information releases recent data on organ donations
When it comes to kidney disease, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia have the lowest newly diagnosed cases of kidney disease, according to a report that was released on Tuesday.
The Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) released its data from the Canadian Organ Replacement Register.
Due to P.E.I.'s small size, CIHI combined much of the Island's data with Nova Scotia.
"You do have the lowest incident rate of end-stage kidney disease, meaning in 2012 you have the fewest newly diagnosed end-stage kidney disease cases across the country,'' said Juliana Wu, manager of decision support for organ replacement and trauma registries for CIHI.
"It's one of the lower ones and that is very encouraging. That's good news for your region.''
More good news for P.E.I. and Nova Scotia. Wu says more than half the people living with end-stage kidney disease have a functioning transplant.
"In your region there are more people with a functioning transplant than people on dialysis. That's quite good news. We know that in general the quality of life for people who have a functioning kidney is quite better than the people who are on dialysis.''
She noted that it also reduces costs on the health-care system.
"It's cheaper to have transplant surgery than keeping people on dialysis for the long term.''
One of the challenges on P.E.I. from an organ donor perspective is that the province doesn't have a transplant team. The closest one is in Halifax but Wu says there are efforts being made to change that.
"There are certainly initiatives across the country to ensure that there is efficiency in the system to ensure that when there is an organ available things can get to the right places at the right time. I think (the lack of transplant teams) is an issue across the country in every jurisdiction. They're all looking at it.''
Many people are turning to Twitter and Facebook in hopes of finding desperately needed organ donations which signals an organ shortage.
"There is still a pretty big waiting list. People are dying while they're on a waiting list. We are short for organs, sure.''
Education and awareness are key, she said.
Wu did note that there are countries around the world, like Spain, where people have to opt out of being an organ donor. In Canada, people have to deliberately register they wish to be one which means the country does lag behind others when it comes to organ donations.
"Some of the other countries (have) an assumed-consent approach so everybody is assumed to be a donor unless you state otherwise. That would make quite a difference in terms of the potential donor pool that you would have.''
However, Wu says the CIHI is by no means advocating a change in policy in Canada.