‘Organ donation awareness is must’

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 29 Nov 2017 09:04:43


By Dr Vatsala Trivedi,

End Stage Organ Failure is a devastating condition, which commonly affects young adults, who are the bread winners of the family. This situation leaves the family physically, emotionally, and financially drained. If it affects the lady of the house, the family including the children, get totally disintegrated.

The only treatment for the end stage disease of any organ leading to organ failure is to replace the affected organ so that the body can function properly. The procedure of replacing the failed organ is known as Organ Transplantation.

It is proved scientifically beyond any doubt that quality of the life is much superior after kidney transplantation. For transplantation one has to procure the necessary organs. Since organs cannot be manufactured in factories or in laboratories, they have to be procured from the following sources only. They include living donor, animal donor and deceased donor. A living person donating one of his/her paired organs like kidney, lung or a part of his organ like liver known as living organ donation. The living donor could be:

A. Related Donor: Near relatives as defined by the Law include parents, grandparents siblings and off springs. The spouse is emotionally related.

B. Living Unrelated Donor: This kind of donor is acceptable only after proving that the donation is purely with altruistic intensions and no monetary exchange or exploitations of the poorer strata of the society.

C. Animal Donor: The organs from the pig is supposed to evoke minimal immunogenic response. This kind of animal to human transplant is known as Xeno Transplantation.

D. Deceased donor organ transplantation: The organs from the heart beating, brain dead donors who are found only in the Intensive Care Units.

The deceased donor programme is a feasible, economical, legal and ethical programme. It will effectively reduce the ever increasing gap between the waiting recipient and the donor if properly understood and implemented.
The commonest causes of brain death are head injuries due to road traffic accidents, fall from height, gunshot wounds, brain tumours, brain surgeries etc. After brain death is diagnosed in ICU the screening for any cancer, transmissible infections, functions and fitness of the transplantable organs, age of the donor, any systemic disease like diabetes, hypertension, is carried out in a scientific manner as per the protocol.

The relatives are counselled and a written permission is obtained from the authorised person before retrieving the organs. After retrieval the organs are allocated impartially to most deserving recipients by the regional allocating authority. The body of the donor is surgically reconstructed with full care to avoid any disfigurement and handed over to the relatives for the last rites.

Some of the FAQs (frequently asked questions).

Any healthy adult above the age of 18 years can be considered for living donation. For deceased donor transplantation, patients between the age of 2 to 70 years are considered as less than 2 years the tissues, organs may be immature, and after the age of 70 the organs may not be optimally functioning.

Giving your organs after death is not just about making a donation; it is about making a difference. Do not think that organ donation is giving up a part of you to keep a stranger alive. It is actually a total stranger giving up a large part of them to just keep a part of you alive. In the end one must realise that each one of us is born with the unique ability to change someone’s life. We must not waste it.

(The author has earned the name of performing first organ transplant in Maharashtra and also first in the country of doing the feat in public hospital. She is Urologist and kidney transplant surgeon.)'