COVID-19: historic drop in organ donation

The effects of the pandemic are having a heavy impact on organ donation, as nearly 800 people are waiting for a transplant in Quebec.

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There were only two donations in April, unheard of in twenty years.

It is that COVID-19 also brings its share of new standards, accentuating the precautions before placing someone in immunosuppression for a transplant.

With the pandemic, doctors are running out of time to identify potential donors, they are so overwhelmed.

“In April, there were only 25 potential donors identified, whereas in normal times this number should be around 75 or 80. In the end, there were only two donors”, explained Lucie. Dumont, president and founder of Chaîne de vie.

The uncertainty of waiting

Fewer organ donations mean a longer waiting time, a slowing down that could have serious consequences, according to Lucie Dumont, herself a kidney transplant recipient.

“There is an emotional side to patients, because they are often in bad shape. When you add COVID to the equation, there are many impacts on the health of potential transplant recipients, ”she worried.

Steve Bujold is awaiting a lung transplant and his fears related to COVID-19 are high.

“I haven’t had any follow-up since then. My concern is that hospitals are filling up with patients with COVID-19 and that operations will be canceled, ”said the one who is eager to turn the page.

This reality reminds us of the importance of signing your health insurance card in order to formalize consent, because one person can save the lives of eight others.

It is essential that as many people as possible give their consent to organ donation, since in the end only 1% of people who have died can become donors.

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