There is a critical shortage of donor organs in Alberta. Waitlists across our province have grown by 40 per cent since 2006, while our donation rates have remained among the lowest in Canada. Plus, 70 per cent of donated organs are not able to be used for transplantation, contributing to the hundreds of Canadians who die each year while waiting for a life-saving transplant.
The Alberta Transplant Institute (ATI), however, offers a second chance at life for those clinging to hope on donor waitlists. Home to 100 experts and the Canadian National Transplant Research Program, the ATI is one of the most advanced transplant research and training centres in Canada, and the only one serving Western Canada.
Using new technology to meet an organ shortage
Technology developed by University of Alberta medical researchers may solve two of the biggest problems in organ transplantation―the limited number of healthy organs available and the short window of time to get a donated organ to a patient.
The Ex-Vivo Organ Support System (EVOSS™), developed by surgery professors Darren Freed and Jayan Nagendran, uses negative pressure ventilation in a portable organ perfusion device to replicate the way our chest cavity expands and contracts with each breath. It ensures a constant supply of blood and oxygen to donated lungs, keeping them warm at a level similar to the temperature inside the body, until they are transplanted.
Freed and Nagendran-who together founded Tevosol, Inc., a U of A spinoff company to commercialize their product- have entered a clinical trial of their lung perfusion device. The ex vivo research trial was established through a partnership between ATI, the University Hospital Foundation and Alberta Health Services. It’s just one of the life-changing innovations supported by ATI’s clinical and research focuses.
Technologies like these are game-changers for patients, especially when met with the reality that only one in four donated lungs are suitable for transplantation and one in three patients will die before lungs become available.
The Impact of Your Donation
Your donation will help ATI give thousands of people living with organ failure a second chance at life.
The institute brings together a constellation of scientists, physicians and educators involved in transplantation in Alberta to work together more easily. ATI boasts the leadership of three Tier 1 Canada Research Chairs who are leading the way in transplant surgery and immunology.
The institute is advancing transplantation science through exploring ex vivo perfusion technology, regenerative cellular therapies and alternatives to lifelong immunosuppressant drug use after receiving an organ.
How to Help
Transplantation is a reprieve to the uncertainty felt by those suffering organ failure.
You can give parents more time with their children, children more time to grow, and families more time to create memories through a gift to ATI. Your donation will equip the institute with the resources necessary to improve lives impacted by transplantation.