It may surprise one to know that Canada has one of the lowest donation rates of developed countries, adiposity and British Columbia has the lowest organ donor rate in Canada. By some blood groups, our wait lists are almost 10 years long! Despite this, and the fact that we have any number of programs to facilitate both living and deceased donation, our ability to serve our dialysis dependent population continues to be hampered by a basic inability to increase organ donor numbers.
It may also be surprising to note after reading the above, that the wait time to have your live donor kidney transplant operation, after the live donor and recipient has been approved is essentially on the order of weeks at present, meaning that if you can find a compatible donor for yourself, you could potentially have your transplant operation within the month. In fact, the lack of live donor-recipient pairs has become such an issue of late that we are actually cancelling operating dates which were reserved for kidney transplant because there are no patient to fill them. We have cancelled 4 out of 5 operating dates this April 2014 alone, and the first operative date in May as well. This is an almost unbelievable situation in light of the greater than 5000 patients in BC on the waitlist and documented prolonged wait times.
While there remain in-program bottlenecks and process issues that we continue to work on, the bottom line is that we need potential kidney transplant recipients, their families, friends, workmates, acquaintances and the general public to initiate the discussion of kidney donation as a consideration analogous to blood donation or bone marrow for living donation, and certainly to register to be an organ donor for when they pass on.