By Sanita Pillai:
Organ transplant is a surgical procedure to replace a diseased organ with a healthy donor organ. It is often the only treatment for organ failure. In the entire process, first the patient enrols himself/herself on the waiting list for transplant. Only after getting enrolled and getting an appropriate organ, the diseased organ is replaced by the healthy one donated by a donor.
It was a great achievement in medical history when organ transplantation was introduced to us; new hope for the people who were suffering from organ failure.
Unfortunately, only a few of the people in need of a healthy organ have received benefits from the medical procedure. Yes, that’s true and with that let’s face some other bitter truths about the scenario of organ donation in India:
1. Nearly 500,000 people die due to unavailability of organs each year.
2. Every year, nearly 150,000 people await a kidney transplant, but only 5000 get one.
3. In India, the country of 1.2 billion people, the PMP i.e. persons as organ donor per million population is just 0.08 which is extremely low compared to other countries.
4. Every year, nearly 1,000,000 lakh people suffer from blindness and await transplant.
Apart from these hard-hitting facts, black marketing is another harsh truth of which you will not feel proud. India has become one of the major black markets for organs. Despite organ trading is illegal in India, every year nearly 10,000 organs are traded of which kidneys hold 75 percent.
Now after knowing these facts, questions may arise in your mind such as: Why there is an unavailability of organs? Why are people not willing to take part in such a noble thing that can save many lives? Why is black marketing happening?
The answer to all these questions is a lack of awareness, which always confuse people for this noble cause. Hence, it is now time to clear all the confusions as getting rid of them can help save lives.
A few questions that always come in between us and organ donation are:
There is no age limit for organ donation. Organs can be donated by someone as young as a newborn or as old as a 75-year-old.
The decision to donate or use an organ depends on strict medical criteria. It may turn out that certain organs are not healthy enough for donation, but other organs and tissues may be fine. The medical professionals are the best people who can determine whether your organs and tissues are suitable for transplantation.
If you are admitted to a hospital, the number one priority for the doctors is to save your life. The transplant team will not make any move until all lifesaving efforts have failed and death has been determined. They will also not take any step until your family has consented to donation.
It has become common to donate organs or partial organs while alive. Kidneys are the most common organs donated by living donors. Other organs that can be donated by living donors include partial liver, a lobe of a lung, pancreas or intestine. Also, living donors can donate fluids or tissues that can be regenerated such as blood, bone marrow, and parts of the liver.
Organ transplantation has same complications/ risks as all major surgeries such as infection, blood clots and pain. In fact, it sometimes also has long term complications. But it depends on many factors such as health condition of the donor, donated organ and the procedure.
Few of the long-term complications based on specific organs are:
Kidney: Kidney failure, Hypertension
Liver: Renal failure, Gastric problems, Intra-abdominal bleeding
Recovery time depends on the same factors as complications after organ donation; health condition of the donor, organ and the procedure. It can take weeks to months.
Hence, before undergoing the procedure, make sure you ask every possible thing about risks, side-effects and recovery time to your doctor or transplant team.
Now when you have finally decided to become an organ donor, the only remaining question is: where to go? There are many health care organizations where you can donate organs and save lives. One of these organizations is Manipal Hospitals.
“Pledge to Donate” is an initiative driven by Manipal Hospitals to encourage people for organ donation and to ensure that the patients, suffering from diseased organs, can easily undergo early organ transplantation.
Remember, one donor can save 8 lives!