Surgical Recovery Models in Canada: Current and Future State

What is this project about?

Project background

In organ donation and transplantation, surgical recovery teams have the responsibility for recovering organs from donors in specific care settings for the purpose of transplantation. These teams form an essential part of Canada’s interprovincial donation and transplantation system. Interprovincial organ recovery arrangements support those provinces and territories with limited or no recovery capacity. Recovery service models across Canada are diverse and coordination of the process is complex. There is a need to better understand the specifics and differences of current surgical recovery models across Canada.


This project will map out the existing organ recovery processes in each province, including successes, gaps and challenges within the existing structures, and propose opportunities and recommendations for improvements.

Overview of activities

  • Conduct a survey of donation and transplant organizations across Canada to understand and document differences in organ recovery processes and interrelationships between provinces and territories.
  • Conduct interviews with key medical and surgical leads across Canada to complement survey findings.
  • Conduct a literature review (environmental scan) of national and international best practice models.
  • Produce a report on opportunities for change and recommendations for improvements in the Canadian context.
  • Execute strategies for knowledge dissemination and uptake by key stakeholders.

How will the project improve the organ donation and transplantation system in Canada?

The project will contribute to:

  • Providing organ donation and transplantation stakeholders with evidence-based information for decision making around potential improvements in regional/Canadian organ recovery processes.
  • Enhancing awareness of best practices and potential improvements in organ recovery service models across organizations, provinces and territories in Canada.

The project lead

This project is led by BC Transplant, which is a program of the BC Provincial Health Services Authority.

Edward Ferre, Provincial Operations Director

“With recent successes in increasing the number of donors, organ recovery teams are experiencing significant pressure to build capacity to support the work. This project will help identify recovery models that will help build capacity and sustainability of organ recovery in Canada.”




The Organ Donation and Transplantation Collaborative is an initiative led by Health Canada with provinces and territories (except Québec), Canadian Blood Services, patients, families, clinicians and researchers. Funded by Health Canada, the project Surgical Recovery Models in Canada: Current State and Future State contributes to the Collaborative’s vision to achieve organ donation and transplantation system improvements that result in better patient outcomes and an increase in the number and quality of successful transplantations. For more information, please consult the Organ Donation and Transplantation Collaborative (the Collaborative) website: