Saskatoon ICU doctor says organ donation suspension is 'just the beginning' amid surging COVID-19 cases
A Saskatoon ICU physician says the suspension of organ donation in the province due to surging COVID-19 cases is “extremely painful and sad.”
“The impact of the COVID-19 fourth wave will be painful and this is just the beginning,” Dr. Hassan Masri said in a Facebook post Thursday.
Masri said organ donation is a critical part of his job that brings him “a lot of joy and satisfaction” to see those who have died donate their organs to save other people’s lives.
“I am sure it is sad and devastating to so many other colleagues that fought hard to have this program and to the families of those who have been waiting for an organ,” the post said.
Saskatchewan has suspended its organ donation program indefinitely as part of the health authority’s surge plan.
For now, the province will only provide immediate tissue donations. The suspension means if an organ donor dies, those organs would not go to anyone, Lori Garchinski, tertiary care director for the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA), told reporters Thursday.
“Unfortunately, that has been one of the side effects of the surge capacity management that we’ve had to do to support ICU care in the province,” Garchinski said.
Masri said the government has not acted quickly enough to fight COVID-19 and that adding more beds isn’t the solution.
“The medical community and the SHA will continue to do their best to care for our citizens but the delay in taking any actions for weeks has a very tragic price.”
Masri added that mandating vaccines for those who are eligible and enforcing masks must happen in order to get cases under control.