Organ donation is the process of removing tissues or organs from a live, or recently dead, person called Donor to be used in another live person called Recipient.
Different organs such as heart, liver, kidneys, lung, Pancreas and tissues such as corneas and bone marrow can now be successfully transplanted into patients, who can then expect to survive for years or even decades.
Two situations under which organ donation occurs are:
Live Donations ( When the person making the donation is alive)
This type of donation occurs when a living person wishes to donate organs to some immediate family member in need.
Only first degree relatives (Parents, siblings & children) are allowed to be Live Donors. There is a precondition on the organs that can be donated.. They can donate one Kidney (as one kidney is capable of maintaining the body functions), a portion of Pancreas and a part of the Liver.
Cadever/ Deceased Donations ( After the donor dies)
This kind of donation involves taking organs from a person who has just died. But organ can be taken only if the deceased person registered his/her wish for the donation or his first degree relatives give their consent.
In deceased donations, organs to be donated depends on the type of death.
Death is of two main types: Brain Death and Cardiac/Natural Death.
Brain death is the irreversible and permanent end of all brain functions. Such persons are kept on artificial support (ventilators) to maintain oxygenation of organs so that the organs are in healthy condition until they are removed. Most cases of brain death are the end result of head injuries or brain tumor patients from Intensive care units. Brain death usually results from a severe brain injury which causes all the brain activity to stop. This can happen after a major road accident or a bleed in the brain due to stroke.In brain death there is no possibility of recovery, and the patient is declared clinically and legally dead. It is possible to donate all organs in the case of Brain death.
When a person suffers a Cardiac death, the heart stops beating. Due to the lack of circulation of blood the vital organs quickly become unusable for transplantation. However, if the person is on a ventilator and if it is medically clear that the person cannot survive, then the family can consider Organ donation for certain vital organs. Such donations typically take place in the operating room.
Heart, Kidneys, Liver, Pancreas, Heart Valve, Middle Ear and Bone Marrow can be donated only in the case of Brain Death whereas Skin and Cornea can be donated in both types of death.
At present, most organs for transplants come from living donors, whereby these donors may legally only be the immediate family. As a result, only a small percentage of organ seekers are able to find compatible and keen donors. Due to the extremely low number of deceased donations, most people awaiting transplant breathe their last.
In India every year nearly 500,000 people die because of non-availability of organs and this number is expected to grow due to scarcity of Organ Donors.
There is a urgent need for increased public awareness regarding organ donation and greater effort must be taken to dispel public concerns regarding the same.
Following are some important facts about organ donation:
- Anyone can be a potential donor regardless of age, race, or medical history.
- All major religions in the India support organ, eye and tissue donation and see it as the final act of love and generosity toward others. It should not be treated as an interference in God’s work rather it is treated as contributing in God’s work.
- If one is sick or injured and admitted to the hospital, the number one priority is to save his/her life. Organ, eye and tissue donation can only be considered after one is deceased.
- An open casket funeral is possible for organ, eye and tissue donors. Through the entire donation process the body is treated with care, respect and dignity.
- There is no cost to the donor or their family for organ or tissue donation.
G2S is striving to spread the awareness regarding Organ Donations.
G2S pledges you to donate your organs as organs are precious. By being an organ donor you can save the lives of 7 individuals by way of organ donation and enhance the lives of over 50 people by way of tissue donation.
Don’t Wait, Pledge Now