HSCM ranked among the best in the world – A new partnership will improve the local supply of human tissues

Montréal, May 28, 2014 – The Hôpital du Sacré-Coeur de Montréal (HSCM) is proud today to present the outstanding results of its Centre de prélèvement d’organes (CPO). This regional organ retrieval centre is a pilot project that began a year ago, in June 2013, to reduce the number of Quebecers awaiting an organ or tissue transplant and to save more lives while ensuring the safety of donors and the quality of the organs retrieved. A year later, the HCSM ranks among the world’s leading institution for the retrieval of organs, with an annual rate of 88.5 transplant recipients per million potential donors.

Established with the support of the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux, the HSCM’s CPO has made it possible to transplant 182 organs, including 82 kidneys, 39 lungs, 37 livers, 18 hearts and six pancreases. Since the creation of the regional organ retrieval centre, the hospitals served by the HSCM have seen a significant increase in the number of donated and traIn 2013, approximately 500 Quebecers received an organ transplant…but more than 1,000 did not have this opportunity and are still waiting for a transplant! We need to continue our efforts. “The CPO is a model that we hope to see copied in other health care centres in Québec. We fully support the establishment other retrieval centres to save more lives each year,” said the HSCM’s Director General Dr. Pierre Gfeller.

The HSCM is able to provide this level of quality and service because of the exceptional availability and solidarity of the many dedicated professionals and volunteers who ensure the maintenance and retrieval of the greatest number of organs from a donor under the best conditions. The infrastructure of intensive care beds and operating rooms dedicated to organ retrieval is a key element of this success.

A Partnership with Héma-Québec to improve the supply of human tissues

The HSCM’s CPO and Héma-Québec have entered into a partnership for the retrieval, classification, treatment and distribution of vascular grafts, a type of human tissue that previously had to be purchased on the international market. The combined expertise of the CPO and of Héma-Québec will ensure a better local supply of human tissues.

“This partnership means that more people will be healthy again thanks to improved access to certain human tissues, including vascular grafts,” said Dr. Jean De Serres, President and CEO of Héma-Québec.

“For us, being able to give life back to the greatest number of individuals awaiting transplantation, thanks to the donation of a loved one’s organs, consistent with the family’s wishes, is a gesture of respect for the donors’ families,” underscores Dr. Pierre Marsolais, internist and intensivist at HSCM and coordinator of the CPO. “Our partnership with Héma-Québec will now ensure the availability of quality tissues to all transplant surgeons in Québec.” We know that one donor can provide up to eight organs that will save the lives of as many individuals. That does not take into account the many human tissues that can also be collected.

Organ donation has a long history at the HSCM

Health professionals at the Hôpital du Sacré-Cœur have long been interested in organ donation. Since 2004, the HCSM has been firmly committed to a strategy of training and raising awareness of organ donation among its medical staff. Year after year, the HCSM has stood above other health care centres for the excellent rate of identification of potential organ donors in its institution, which is now over 90%.

On three occasions since 2003, the HSCM has been awarded an excellence rating for organ and tissue donation by Accreditation Canada, a first in Canada to date. This mark of excellence measures the quality of intervention of health care professionals with the family and the donor, the established expertise in maintaining the organ in good condition and the efficient in-house management of the donation.

Training and expertise shared within the network

The knowledge acquired at the HSCM needs to be shared with health professionals in other health care centres in Québec. To do this, we are working at establishing specialized training, within a recognized university program, for all health care workers involved in the organ donation process. Given the concentration of competent professionals and the large number of donors that will pass through the HSCM, a specific internship aimed at acquiring competencies in organ donation will also be offered to ensure that the next generation of physicians have the necessary skills. Because of the importance of research at the HSCM’s intensive care unit and the many avenues open to research into organ donation, it would also be timely to set up a clinical laboratory in this field.

About Hôpital du Sacré-Cœur de Montréal

The Hôpital du Sacré-Cœur de Montréal (HSCM) is a supraregional patient care, teaching and research centre and a member of the vast network of excellence in health care formed by the Université de Montréal and its affiliated institutions. The HSCM has four strategic priorities: trauma – acute and critical care, cardiovascular health, respiratory health and mental health. The institution also has two advanced sectors: tertiary orthopedics and bariatric surgery. The HCSM serves the population of the northern part of the Island of Montréal and of the Laval, Laurentides, Lanaudière and Abitibi-Témiscamingue regions. www.hscm.ca

About Héma-Québec

In addition to its role as supplier of blood products for Québec, Héma-Québec supplies human tissues for transplant purposes (including skin grafts, heart valves and musculoskeletal tissues such as tendons and bones) and makes them available to Québec hospitals. Héma-Québec also collects eye tissues for use in corneal transplantation. 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; to provide and develop expertise along with specialized and innovative services and products in the fields of transfusion medicine and human tissue transplantation.

- 30 -


Hôpital du Sacré-Cœur de Montréal
Communications department | 514-338-2222
Josée-Michelle Simard, ext. 3244
Michèle Fournier, ext. 2048


Media line | 514-832-0871