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Organ Donation A Battle Yet To Win: Awareness Is The Key

Dr Gaurav Gupta shares why organ donation is yet a battle to win.

World Organ Donation Day 2022: In India, around 5 lakh patients need an organ transplant annually, which is growing annually. However, the demand is more than the supply as irrespective of the continuous awareness undertaken by the government, people are still hesitant or have misconceptions regarding donation. As a result, the country's organ donation rate is 1.6 per million globally, which is very low compared to some western countries. Also, the pandemic reduced the donation rate further due to multiple reasons like a smaller number of cadavers eligible for transplant due to infection, lack of resources, fear of the transmission of the virus through donation etc.

Dr Gaurav Gupta, Senior Consultant & Chief Surgeon - Liver Transplant & HPB Surgery, Fortis Hospital Mulund shares why organ donation is yet a battle to win

How Can One Donate Organs?

There are two ways in which a person is eligible to donate their organs a person who is healthy and wishes to donate part of the liver or one kidney to their loved ones, and this is called living donation. The second one is cadaver donation a brain-dead person can donate heart, kidneys, lungs, liver, pancreas and tissues.

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  • Brain dead is a condition in which irreversible and permanent damage to the brain due to an accident, bleeding in the brain due to a burst of blood vessels.
  • Doctors conduct specific special tests on such patients to prove their brain dead. Legally brain dead is dead, like cardiac heath, wherein the heart stops.
  • These patients cannot survive, as the brain controls the whole body and thus, they become eligible to donate their organs.
  • The next of kin of a brain-dead person has to consent to be eligible for organ donation. Such patients can save the lives of around nine patients in need of an organ.

Can Brain Dead Patients Come Back To Live?

Brain death is certified by two sets of doctors who conduct tests at least twice six hours apart. Once a person is certified as brain dead, legally and medically, he is dead and cannot be revived.

Donor Card

Post-registration, the person is given a donor card signifying that they wish to donate organs, tissues etc., in the future. The card is not legally binding; instead, it expresses a person's willingness to be a donor. During the time of organ donation, the family of a patient has a right to decide on whether to donate organs or not.

Consent

  • As mentioned before, when a person is declared brain-dead, the consent of the patient's next of kin is needed. So, we must not only register ourselves as organ donors but also let our family members know that it is our wish to be an organ donors. This will help a family in deciding if the need arises.
  • So, now the hour's need is to boost organ donation in India and save as many lives as possible. Citizens, healthcare providers and support organizations need to spread awareness and eliminate myths and fears associated with organ donation.

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