Lessons from afar: International experts share organ donation experience

Thursday, May 23, 2019 Ross FitzGerald

Canadian Blood Services’ Donation Physician Network (DPN) connects clinical care physicians and provides access to educational resources including webinars on leading practices, clincial case studies, literature and emerging issues. In the spirit of international collaboration, experts in organ donation and transplantation from the U.K. and Australia recently shared lessons they have learned over the past decade as part of a series of webinars hosted by the DPN

Lessons from afar

Dr. Helen Opdam of Australia and Dr. Dale Gardiner of the U.K. provide valuable perspectives in their presentations, respectively titled "Lessons from Down Under" and "Lessons from Across the Pond".

“Canada, Australia and the U.K. have a lot in common. I think if we can share our experiences, then we can evolve and improve our systems much more quickly than if we work in isolation,” says Dr. Helen Opdam, National Medical Director of the Australian Organ and Tissue Authority and Senior Intensive Care Specialist with the Austin Hospital in Melbourne.

Watch Dr. Opdam’s webinar, Lesson from down under

“We’ve been on a 10-year journey, which I think Canada and Australia have also been on,” says Dr. Dale Gardiner, Deputy National Clinical Lead for Organ Donation, U.K., and Adult Intensive Care Medicine Consultant. “My first lesson that we’ve learned in the U.K. is that success is possible.”

Watch Dr. Gardiner’s webinar, Lesson from across the pond

The U.K. and Australia share many similarities with Canada, politically, socially, legislatively and geographically. For the past decade, all three countries have been working to improve organ donation rates to increase the availability of organs for patients in need.

“I was asked in setting up this presentation to finish with giving some pointers to Canada, and I felt that was a bit presumptuous, because I feel that Australia has a lot to learn from Canada,” says Dr. Opdam, “What I really think I can do is share with you what actually happened in Australia, and it’s very much up to you to draw some lesson from that.”

Dr. Helen Opdam


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Visit Canadian Blood Services' Professional Education website to discover more resources and information related to organ and tissue donation and transplantation. 

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The opinions reflected in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Canadian Blood Services nor do they reflect the views of Health Canada or any other funding agency.


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