A new approach to organ donation is coming to Royal Columbian Hospital.
Five hospitals in B.C., including RCH, will be hiring organ donor coordinators, with the goal of lowering the number of people who die while waiting for a transplant.
RCH will be among the first three hospitals to bring a coordinator on board, with another two hospitals - as yet unnamed - following shortly after, according to Dr. Greg Grant, executive director with B.C. Transplant and a Vancouver-based critical care specialist.
"We've hired for (the spot) in Vancouver General, and we're working on the other two now for Royal Columbian and Kelowna General," said Grant.
Grant says the coordinator's role will be to work with a patient's family in situations where organ transplant may be appropriate. The program is modelled on a similar system in Ontario that has proven highly successful there.
Grant says it can be challenging for a doctor to approach a family about organ donation.
"They're worried they might be perceived that they're working more for the recipient (of the transplant)," he said.
"It's about the recipients, but it's also about the donor families - a lot of the families who become donor families, it's a real benefit to them, it's very important to them to know that (it helped someone else)," he said.
For more on the new pro-gram, and about organ donation in B.C., see a longer version of this story online at www.royalcityrecord.com.