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Check again: you may not actually be an organ donor

More than 60% of B.C. people surveyed believe they're registered to donate a kidney when they're actually not, a press release issued by The Kidney Foundation of Canada recently.

"Almost two thirds of people we surveyed said they registered with their driver’s licence, but B.C. has not had that process in place since 1997,” says executive director of the B.C. Branch of the Kidney Foundation Karen Philp.  “Clearly the lack of clarity about how to register is a barrier. Our survey shows that British Columbians are ready and willing to give the gift of life, but may be unable to because they are not actually registered as an organ donor."

About 95% of B.C. participants support the idea of donating a kidney to someone in need, according to the survey released during National Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness Week (April 20-27).

"When an Ipsos online survey conducted in the last week of March asked British Columbians 'Are you registered as an organ donor?' 51% of the British Columbians surveyed said yes, yet only 19% of all British Columbians are actually registered on B.C.’s organ donor registry."

The gap between those saying they are registered and the official record is due to B.C.’s organ donor registration process being misunderstood.

"Transplantation is clearly the best treatment for patients with kidney failure, transplant recipient living longer, have a better quality of life, and consume fewer health care resources than patients treated with dialysis," said Dr. John Gill. "However the need for kidney transplantation exceeds the number of donated organs, and many patients who could benefit never receive a transplant."

Those interested in joining the donor list must register through the foundation as an organ donor.

"If everyone who supported donation actually donated, waiting lists could be dramatically reduced if not eliminated and many lives would be saved," said Gill.

Anyone interested in becoming a donor can sign up through website www.transplant.bc.ca.

For more information, click here.

The Kidney Foundation of Canada encourages anyone who thinks they registered through their driver’s licence, to check with the BC Online Organ Donor Registry which can be accessed at www.kidney.bc.ca.

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