AHS marks National Organ, Tissue Donor Awareness Week

April 24, 2017

EDMONTON — Alberta Health Services (AHS) is honouring organ and tissue donors and their families who have given the gift of life and improved health of Albertans in need of a transplant. 

During National Organ & Tissue Donor Awareness Week, April 23-29, AHS transplant program staff and physicians will be recognizing donors, as well as encouraging Albertans to discuss their thoughts about organ and tissue donation with their loved ones. There are more than 600 Albertans and 4,000 Canadians waiting for an organ transplant.

An organ donor has the potential to save up to eight lives and enhance the lives of 80 others through tissue donation. Last year in Alberta:

  • There was a record number of organ donors in Calgary (34), as well as provincially (70).
  • The Edmonton Transplant program performed a record 341 organ transplants. A record 64 lung and 87 liver (67 deceased donor and 20 living donor) transplants were performed.
  • In Edmonton, a record 2,518 tissues were distributed for transplant by the Comprehensive Tissue Centre from a record 99 deceased donors.
  • In Calgary, a record 1,991 tissues were distributed for transplant by the Southern Alberta Tissue Program from a record 204 deceased donors.

Alberta Health Services (AHS) is celebrating 50 years of kidney transplantation in Edmonton.

The first organ transplant in Alberta was a kidney transplant, performed at the University of Alberta Hospital (UAH) on Jan. 15, 1967, by the late Dr. William Lakey. Since then, more than 2,800 kidney transplants have been performed at the UAH, and almost 1,800 kidney transplants have been performed at the Foothills Medical Centre in Calgary. 

Since the Alberta Organ and Tissue Donation Registry began in 2014, more than 351,000 Albertans have registered their intent to donate. If you choose to give the gift of life and improved health to someone in need, sign up to be an organ and/or tissue donor on, and tell your family and loved ones of your wishes. 

Alberta Health Services is the provincial health authority responsible for planning and delivering health supports and services for more than four million adults and children living in Alberta. Its mission is to provide a patient-focused, quality health system that is accessible and sustainable for all Albertans.

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For media inquiries, contact:

Shelly Willsey
AHS Communications