There is a beautiful commercial that we have seen many times on television. ‘A mother sitting in her room with the door closed and looking at her son’s photo with his red headset. Even when the father knocks on the door and calls, the mother stays inside the room, refusing to come out. Slowly the room opens and the father comes in and says ‘You see her’ and the mother is sitting there unable to agree. The next moment the father hears the ringing bell and opens the door to see a girl standing in front of the door. She also has a box in her hand. When she comes inside, her mother meets her with complete reluctance. She is holding out the box in her hand towards her mother. When you look at it, you see a label above it that says “Snehpoorvama own son”. A stethoscope is found inside.
‘The mother takes it and puts it in her ear and puts the other part close to the girl’s heart. In that emotional moment, the words she says to her mother, who is bursting into tears, are the most remarkable: “Mom can talk to me anytime.”
Although it was just an advertisement, it was an advertisement that highlighted the beauty of organ donation. The feeling a mother feels when she hears her never-to-be-returned son’s heartbeat again is indescribable. There is no doubt that the pulse of life will always be a comfort to them.
Learn more about organ donation
Organ donation is very familiar to all of us.
We celebrate World Organ Donation Day on August 13. Organ donation is the harvesting of a person’s organs for transplantation into another person after he or she has died or while he or she is still alive. The person who donates the organs is called the donor and the person who receives the organ is called the recipient. One brain-dead donor can save the lives of up to eight people suffering from end-stage organ failure. Organ donation touches recipients more than donors. It also affects families, friends, colleagues, and acquaintances who love and support transplant recipients. And ensuring their renewed life and better health after transplant.
Organ donation often means a second chance at life. They can be transplanted for those who have damaged vital organs like heart, liver, kidneys, lungs and pancreas. This allows many recipients to return to a normal lifestyle. A person is gifted with the ability to see again with a corneal transplant.
Different types of organ donation
Live related Donor
Live related transplant occurs when a living person donates an organ (or part of an organ) to another blood related person. A living donor can be a family member such as a parent, child, brother or sister, grandparent or grandchild.
Living organ donors can donate a kidney, a lung, or part of a liver, pancreas, or intestine.
Live unrelated donor
Live unrelated organ donation refers to organ donation from a good friend, spouse, relative, neighbor or in-law or people who are not related in any way to the recipient, who is emotionally connected to the recipient.
Cadaver organ donation
Deceased organ donation can save lives and improve quality of life in patients with non-functional organs due to terminal disease. Over the past two decades, organ transplants have gradually improved and yielded better results in children and young adults. Kidney transplantation improves the quality of life of patients living on dialysis. Liver, heart and lung transplants help save the lives of patients with irreversible diseases. The operation of organ transplant programs is growing steadily. But the rate of organ donation varies greatly between countries. The level of organ donation is still very low when looking at the global needs. It is important to mention that organ transplantation is essential for developed and comprehensive health care systems.
The clinical significance of organ transplants can be assessed based on the impact on patient survival, reduction of morbidity, improvement of working life, and global quality of life of the transplant population.
Some facts about organ transplantation
∙ Around 5 lakh people die every year due to lack of organ availability across the country.
∙ There is a huge gap between the number of transplants waiting and the organs available.
∙ Dismal statistics emphasize the urgent need for more people to donate their organs; The main goal is to save the lives of people suffering from organ failure.
∙ An organ donor can save 6-8 lives by donating his well-functioning organs.
Who can become an organ donor?
Anyone can become an organ donor irrespective of age, caste, religion, community and current or past health conditions.
What is the process of organ donation?
Although millions of people have registered to become organ donors, very few donors go through the process of being allowed to donate organs. Some details about the organ donation process are as follows:
∙ Must be registered as a donor
The organ donation process often begins with your consent to become a donor by registering your name in a national/state registry and informing your family. This is the first step that can help save the life of a terminally ill person.
∙ Brain death testing
If the patient does not respond to treatment and external stimulation, doctors will perform several tests to determine if brain death has occurred. A brain dead patient has no brain function and cannot breathe on their own. Brain death is death and it is irreversible. Only brain dead patients can become organ donors.
Who certifies that a patient is brain dead?
The government has made it clear that brain death must be confirmed by a panel of several doctors. The panel includes:
∙ Doctor in charge of the hospital (Medical Superintendent)
∙ Doctor nominated from the panel of Government Doctors appointed by the appropriate authority.
∙ Neurologist/Neurosurgeon who has not treated the patient nominated from the panel of appropriate authority.
∙ Competent authority is the neurologist/neurosurgeon/intensivist treating the patient nominated from the panel.
Which organs can be donated after brain death?
Vital organs such as cornea, heart, liver, kidneys, intestines, lungs and pancreas can be donated in case of ‘brain death’.
∙ Approved contribution
Healthcare authorities check whether the deceased is registered as a donor in their registry. In India, the consent of the family is mandatory for organ donation and they have the final say.
The patient must be registered with the transplant hospital.
The patient is then placed on a waiting list.
When an organ becomes available from a brain-dead person, the patient is notified
∙ Adaptation process
Health professionals determine whether an organ is medically suitable for transplant. A long series of tests are conducted on various parameters to help match the right recipient for the organ transplant.
∙ Organs recover
Doctors are extremely careful when removing organs. Most of the organs have a limited lifespan as follows:
Heart: 4-6 hours
Liver: 12-24 hours
Kidney: 48-72 hours
Cardiopulmonary: 4-6 hours
Lungs: 4-6 hours
After the organ is removed, surgeons connect it to a machine that operates the prosthesis.
How to transport organs
Surgical teams work around the clock to coordinate between the retrieved organ and the recipient for a successful transplant. In some cases, a “green corridor” itself is created for an organ transplant. It is a special road route created for the ambulance to reach the organ intended for transplant to the specified hospital within a specified time.
When are organs removed after death?
Organs should be removed as soon as possible after the diagnosis of brain death during artificial circulation. Organs can be removed within 12 to 24 hours.
Are there any criteria for evaluating providers? How safe is organ donation?
Organ donors are extensively screened to assess their health, the presence of any communicable diseases, and their fitness to donate an organ. Apart from certain tests like blood group, immunological status and medical taken, donor tissue compatibility and recipient compatibility are important for transplant surgery. They are allowed to donate only if approved by the medical board. So it is safe to receive organs.
Why is family support important in organ donation?
It is important to discuss the decision with family or close relatives. This is because family is the first person to contact in case of emergency or untoward incident. Doctors can retrieve organs only after taking their permission. If your family knows about your decision, your wishes will be carried out as you wish.
How absurd what Pope Francis said
“Organ donation is not only an act of social responsibility but also an expression of the universal brotherhood that binds all men and women together”
Remember, our life is a gift from God. It is absolutely divine when we donate our organs. Life after death is what organ donation means.
Content Summary: World Organ Donation Day 2022