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August 13 – World Organ Donation Day 2022

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By Dr Shyamala Iyengar, Senior Consultant Internal Medicine

World Organ Donation Day is observed on August 13, every year to raise awareness about the importance of organ donation and to motivate people for donating organs after death. Donating an organ is highly valued, as it is gifting and saving the life of someone, as one organ donor can save up to eight lives.

Organ Donation is retrieving a donor’s organ like heart, liver, kidneys, intestines, lungs and pancreas, after the donor is deceased, transplanting into another person who is in need of an organ. As per the reports, the number of transplants done annually in India has been rising slowly around 5000 kidneys, 1000 livers and around 50 hearts. However, the current organ donation rate is very poor in India – 0.86 per million when compared to 46.9 Spain’s and America’s 31.96 per million. If India reaches a 1 per million donation rate, it would almost meet current demands for organs

Who Can Be An Organ Donor?

All people should consider themselves as possible organ and tissue donors-irrespective of age, health and race. No individual is too old or too young to be a deceased donor. New-borns and even senior citizens into their 90s have been potential organ donors as the health of the organ is more vital than age. Even a person with an illness would be able to donate organs or tissues upon death, where the doctors would examine the organs and determine whether they are suitable for donation. However, a few conditions may totally inhibit a person from becoming a donor such as active cancer or systemic infection.

COVID-19 And Impact Of Organ Donation

With the COVID-19 Pandemic, organ donation and transplant surgeries and the need for donors have come to a halt. The cost of corona virus disease is huge and has badly affected ailing patients who are in need of organ transplants. The organ transplantation programme was temporarily suspended during the lockdown as a measure to avert the spread of COVID-19.

Patients with end-stage diseases- kidney, liver, heart and lung failure are worried following the COVID 19 pandemic. While kidney failure patients can improve their health condition with continued dialysis, although are at a slightly higher risk of contracting Covid19. However, the ray of hope for a patient with a failing liver, heart or lung disease is now a question. The impact of COVid19 and delaying transplant has now become catastrophic.

Organ Transplant Patients At Higher Risk Of COVID-19?

As per the Global Alliance for Eye Banking (GAEB), currently, there is no evidence that SARS-CoV-2 viruses can be transmitted via blood transfusions or tissue transplants. While there is no report till the date of spreading the virus with organ transplant, however, it has been shown that corona virus has a higher stimulus for the kidney, where it has been shown to replicate in almost 30%of patients. With regard to cornea transplant recipients, there is no risk, as they do not need blood group matching or oral medication to lower their immunity to avert rejection.

Apparently organ transplant recipients need a high dose of immune suppression during the initial 3 months and a lower dose for a lifetime. It is felt that the infuse size of COVID- 19 required to infect a transplant patient may be lower and progression to life-threatening pneumonia more prone.

The Indian Society of Organ Transplant (ISOT) suggests that living donor kidney transplantation may be best delayed during corona virus period. However, living donor liver transplant may be considered in patients with acute life-threatening forms of liver failure. Transplantation of heart, lungs, liver and kidneys following cadaver donation may be allowed to continue depending upon the stage and number of COVID-19 patients treated at the hospitals.

In case a donor is under the age of 18 years, they are required to have the consent of parents or adult guardians to register themselves as an organ donor. The first-ever organ donation was done in 1954 when Ronald Lee Herrick donated a kidney to his identical twin brother

There are two types of organ donations – Living Organ Donations & Deceased Organ Donations

Who invented organ donation?

Pioneering work in the surgical technique of transplantation was made in the early 1900s by the French surgeon Alexis Carrel, with Charles Guthrie, with the transplantation of arteries or veins

What is organ donation essay?

Essay on Organ Donation – Organ donation is a process in which a person willingly donates an organ of his body to another person. Furthermore, it is the process of allowing the removal of one’s organ for its transplanting in another person.

Who is the first organ donor in India?

The recipient was Alois Glogar, a 45-year-old day labourer whose corneas were damaged. His one eye had a clear vision after the transplant but other one had complications. India’s first cornea transplant happened in 1948

Here are several types of organ, eye and tissue donation, and each one brings new hope for the thousands of people awaiting transplants.

·         Organ Donation. …

·         Tissue Donation. …

·         Eye Donation. …

·         Living Donation. …

·         Donate for Research. …

·         Bone Marrow and Blood Stem Cell Donation.

How many lives can one organ donor save? One deceased organ donor can save up to eight lives! Two donated kidneys can free two patients from dialysis treatments. One donated liver can be split to go to two patients on the wait list

Who Cannot donate organs?

Certain conditions, such as having HIV, actively spreading cancer, or severe infection would exclude organ donation. Having a serious condition like cancer, HIV, diabetes, kidney disease, or heart disease can prevent you from donating as a living donor

Living donors may be asked to quit smoking prior to the donation, and if the person is a heavy smoker, he or she might be asked to see a pulmonary doctor to check breathing.

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