The provincial government is putting $2 million towards training specialist donor physicians in the hope of increasing the number of organ donations in Alberta.
The initiative is called Specialist in End-of-Life Care, Neuroprognostication and Donation, or (SEND). It will see 22 specialist physicians who will coordinate organ donation and transplantation opportunities throughout the province.
The specialist physicians will be available 24-7 in intensive care units and emergency departments to improve the identification of potential donors. As well, physicians will provide support to families who may be considering consent during a very difficult time in their lives.
Health Minister Copping made the announcement saying, “Right now hundreds of Albertans of all ages are desperately waiting for life-changing and life-saving transplants of organs or tissue, their families are waiting as well. I want them to know that we are taking actions to improve the donation and transplant system and give you hope that a match can be found.”
Prior to the SEND program, there was a medical director from northern and southern Alberta that functioned as donation specialist physicians. Now with SEND, the program will deliver improved education for physicians, residents, and other healthcare providers to help increase Alberta’s donation rate.
There will be multiple SEND physicians allocated to various centres around the province including Calgary, Edmonton, Red Deer, Lethbridge, Grande Prairie, Alberta Children’s Hospital, and Stollery Children’s Hospital.
As of April 25, more than 21 per cent (815,000) of adult Albertans have registered their wishes to become organ and/or tissue donors after death.
For more information on organ and tissue donation click HERE.