Trillium Gift of Life Network Expansion

March 05, 2020

Right now, in Ontario, there are more than 1,600 people waiting for a life-saving organ transplant. Unfortunately, the need for transplant continues to outweigh the number of organs available, and every three days, someone dies while waiting.

Trillium Gift of Life Network (TGLN), Ontario's organ and tissue procurement organization, is working in two ways to tackle this problem: encouraging the public to register as organ and tissue donors and ensuring hospitals identify and notify TGLN of every potential donor.

Effective, March 10th, 2020 Perth and Smiths Falls District Hospital (PSFDH) will work to save more lives through organ and tissue donation and transplantation by notifying TGLN when a patient is at high risk of imminent death or when a patient has died. Routine notification is the critical first step allowing TGLN to assess and determine if organ and/or tissue donation is possible. When TGLN has assessed a patient may be a candidate for tissue or organ donation, they will reach out to the family to discuss further and learn patient and family wishes.

“PSFDH and the Trillium Gift of Life Network have partnered and PSFDH is very pleased to offer this life-saving service to our patients and families. We have created a TGLN leadership group and identified TGLN nursing champions on each unit to support the program,” stated Jaclyn Drynan, Patient Care Manager, ED/ICU.

By implementing Routine Notification across the entire hospital, PSFDH hopes to make donation a standard part of quality end-of-life care. A call to TGLN starts the process of saving and enhancing lives. Donation helps honour a person's wish to donate, leaving a lasting legacy for grieving families, and helping to start a new life for someone who is waiting for a transplant.

“Our hospital is committed to providing comprehensive end of life care that is compassionate in nature. This includes honouring a patient's consent decision to donate organs and/or tissues after death or by ensuring that the opportunity for donation has been provided to families when a patient's consent has not previously been registered,” said Nancy Shaw, Vice President, Clinical Services/CNE.

The gift of organ and tissue can be life-changing, and life-saving for a recipient, in the following ways:

  • After a sight-restoring corneal transplant surgery facilitated through the gift of eye donation, recipients can return to work or school;
  • Kidney donation enables recipients to live free from dialysis treatments and allows them to eat and travel without restrictions;
  • Heart valve donations are used to replace the diseased or damaged valves of young children, giving them the chance to live a normal, healthy life;
  • Lung donation allows recipients to walk, climb stairs, and build an active life.

To ensure that your donation decision is honored, register your consent at or in person at a Service Ontario center, and be sure to speak to your family about your wishes. One day, your death could have the power to save up to eight lives and transform up to 75 others.

For more information on Routine Notification, email hospitalsupport@giftoflife.on.