Alberta invests $2 million in organ donation program

The provincial government is investing $2 million in the training of donor physician specialists in hopes of increasing the number of organ donations in Alberta.

The initiative is called Specialist in End-of-Life Care, Neuroprognosis and Donation, or (SEND). He will see 22 medical specialists who will coordinate organ donation and transplantation opportunities across the province.

Specialist doctors will be available 24/7 in intensive care units and emergency rooms to improve the identification of potential donors. Additionally, physicians will provide support to families who may be considering giving 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, life-saving organ and tissue transplants, their families are waiting too. I want them to know that we are taking steps 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 both northern and southern Alberta who acted as donation physicians. Now, with SEND, the program will provide better training for physicians, residents and other healthcare providers to help increase Alberta’s donation rate.

Several SEND physicians will be assigned to various centers across 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% (815,000) of Alberta adults have expressed interest in becoming organ and/or tissue donors after their death.

For more information on organ and tissue donation, click HERE.

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