Héma-Québec highlights National Organ and Tissue Donation Week

Montréal, April 20, 2007 - Within the framework of National Organ and Tissue Donation Week from April 22 to 29, 2007, Héma-Québec would like to emphasize that donating tissue is an act of immense generosity on the part of the donor and takes great courage on the part of their family. Human organs and tissues intended for transplantation can improve the quality of life of thousands of children and adults. Those who are waiting for transplants depend on this type of generosity.

In addition to its role as a supplier of blood products for Québec, Héma-Québec acts as supplier of human tissues intended for transplant. ‘’It may seem like an abstract concept when we are in good health and alive, but it is quite significant when it comes to saving a life or even improving the quality of life of a patient waiting for a transplant,’’ stated Dr. Francine Décary, President and Chief Executive Officer of Héma-Québec. ‘’Following the example for blood products, Héma-Québec will apply the highest standards and use leading-edge technology to ensure the safety and adequacy of human tissues. Our commitment is to ensure that the public and patients in Québec hospitals have access to safe products for the transplant of human tissues,‘’ explained Dr. Décary.

There are different categories of human tissues, including bone grafts and heart valves. Héma-Québec collects, treats and distributes bone grafts to Québec’s hospitals.

Anyone who meets the criteria may consent to a tissue donation by signing the consent sticker that is distributed with all new health insurance cards in Québec and affixing it to the back of the card. Potential donors can also write to the Chambre des notaires du Québec’s Organ and Tissue Donation Consent Registry (Registre des consentements au don d'organes et de tissus). In any case, it is important that the potential donor notifies his or her loved ones about the consent.

For further information on human tissue donation, visit the Human Tissues section of the Héma-Québec Web site at www.hema-quebec.qc.ca.

Created in 1998, Héma-Québec's mission is to efficiently provide adequate quantities of safe, optimal blood components, substitutes, human tissues and cord blood to meet the needs of all Quebecers; provide and develop expertise along with specialized and innovative services and products in the fields of transfusion medicine and human tissue transplantation.

Héma-Québec is 1,300 employees, some 3,000 days of blood drives and more than 300,000 blood donors each year, 16,000 volunteer partners and 400,000 blood products delivered each year to Québec hospitals to meet patients' needs.

Give blood. Give life.

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