Facts and Figures
About Organ Donation and the Waiting List

A lot of people are in the dark about the impact that organ transplants and the waiting list have on Canadians and their families – we’re here to shed a little light.

Donation Rates

There are over 4,500 people waiting for an organ donation in Canada. Sadly, about 260 of those people waiting for a transplant will die every year, that’s about five deaths per week, or one death about every 30 hours that could be saved if they had a viable donor.

Donation rates in Canada are too low. Donation rates have remained relatively low for many years too. It’s time to change that! At 20.9 donors for million people, Canada’s donation rate is below many other countries including Spain (43.4), the United States (31) and the United Kingdom (21.4). even lower than the United States – in the US about 26 of every million people are donors – in Canada the number is only 20.9 per million

Only 1% of deaths in hospitals end up becoming actual organ donors

90% of Canadians say that they support organ and tissue donation; however in practice less than 20% have made plans to donate

British Columbia and Alberta have the highest number of living donor rates with 19.8 living donors per million people each.

One organ donor can save up to 8 lives and a tissue donor can benefit up to 75 individuals.

The Waiting List

It is estimated that the province of Ontario alone loses approximately $100 million dollars every year supporting the care of those on the organ donation waiting list for a kidney

In Canada alone, over 1,600 people are added to organ transplant waiting lists every year

76% of the Canadian donation waiting list are in need of a kidney transplant. The next most in demand organs are the liver, at 10%; the lungs, at 6%; and the heart, at 4%

The average patient on the waiting list for a kidney will wait for four years for their new organ

There is a limited time that organs can be viable for transplant to a matching donor on the waiting list after death:

4-6 hours
6-8 hours
12 hours
Small bowel
4-6 hours
12 hours
12-24 hours
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