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Organ donations from deceased donors up 17 per cent over past decade

By: Helen Branswell, The Canadian Press

 | Feb 25, 2014 - 5:04 PM |
This Friday, Feb. 21, 2014 photo shows Organ donation paperwork is shown at Mid-America Transplant Services in St. Louis, Feb.21, 2014. There is some good news in the organ transplant field, with donations from deceased donors up by 17 per cent over the past decade, a new report says. Still, the gap between need and availability is significant. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-hitney Curtis

This Friday, Feb. 21, 2014 photo shows Organ donation paperwork is shown at Mid-America Transplant Services in St. Louis, Feb.21, 2014. There is some good news in the organ transplant field, with donations from deceased donors up by 17 per cent over the past decade, a new report says. Still, the gap between need and availability is significant. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-hitney Curtis

TORONTO - There's a spot of good news in the arena of organ transplant.

A new report says the number of transplant procedures rose by five per cent in 2012 from the prior year.

The report from the Canadian Institutes of Health Information says donations from deceased donors rose by 17 per cent in the 10 years leading up to 2012 and for the first time in a decade have surpassed the total number of living donors.

That is important because while living donors can give one organ such as a kidney or a piece of a liver, organs from a dead donor can save eight lives and can enhance the lives of dozens of other people through things like cornea transplants.

Still, the gap between need and availability is significant.

More people were waiting for liver, kidney, heart and lung transplants than actually got them in 2012 and 230 people died waiting for an organ that did not become available.

The report says there were 2,225 transplant procedures performed across the country in 2012. Of those, 1,686 of the organs were from dead donors.

The report says the overall number of transplants performed in Canada has increased each year since 2010, mainly due to rises in the number of deceased donors.

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