A new report from the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) provides worrying information for those in need of an organ donation.

Over 200 Canadians died while waiting for organ transplants in 2018, according to CIHI data, and roughly 5% of those listed were waiting for the procedures.

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Despite a significant increase in the number of operations performed, Canada still has a shortage of organs available for patients in need.

And with an increased need for organs — driven mainly by a spike in the number of Canadians diagnosed with end-stage kidney disease, the report says — that number may not be lowering anytime soon.

According to CIHI, a non-profit dedicated to providing information about Canada’s health care systems, there were 2,782 organ transplants performed in 2018, an increase of 33% from similar operations performed in 2009.

However, 2018 also saw 4,000 people stuck on waitlists for organ transplants, which is a dangerous place to be.


According to the report, there were 555 living donors (people who donated a kidney or a lobe of liver) and 762 deceased donors in Canada.

The number of deceased donors increased by 56% between 2009 and 2018, whereas the number of living donors remained stable in that time.

Over 3,000 people on the 2018 waiting list were in need of a new kidney, with a fewer number of people waiting for a liver (527), lung (270), heart (157), or pancreas (156).

The good news, however, comes after a transplant has been made.

“For most organs, patient survival is greater than 80% after 5 years,” stated Greg Webster, CIHI’s director of Acute and Ambulatory Care Information Services.

“Organ transplants save lives.”

For more information on how to become an organ donor, the report advises visiting this link.