Health PEI launches online donor registration form

Health PEI is making it easier for Islanders to sign up as potential organ and tissue donor through a new online registration form announced on Friday.

Previously, Islanders could go to Health PEI's website and print the intent to donate form, fill it in and mail it back to the province.

So far, about 19 per cent of residents have registered to be a donor by this method, according to a press release.

But now, Islanders also have the option of filling in the intent to donate form online and submitting it.

P.E.I. is one of five provinces to have an interactive online Intent to Donate Registry option for submitting the form.

The registry, which was announced last year, allows residents to declare their intent to be a donor when they renew their provincial health card. Their health card number is linked electronically to the registry.

Other options were to declare to be a donor on a driver's licence or through government issued voluntary ID, but those options are being phased out by 2019 and replaced by the registry.

27 Islanders waiting for an organ donation

According to the province, about 32 residents have donated tissue and 15 residents an organ in the past 10 years. As well, about 900 residents received tissue donations and 100 residents received organ donations.

Islanders have the option to donate their heart, liver, pancreas, small bowel, kidneys, and lungs after death. As well, tissue — skin, veins, eyes, bone and related structures, heart valves and the pericardium (membrane enclosing the heart) can be donated after death.

The province says there are currently 27 Islanders waiting for an organ transplant.

Attending Friday's launch was Robert Henderson, minister of health and wellness, organ donor recipient Cathy Binnette and provincial organ and tissue transplant manager Angela Carpenter.

April 23-29 is National Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness Week.

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