Observed on August 13, the World Organ Donation day reminds us of the huge gap between demand and supply of body organs which can be filled if people pledge for organ donation when alive. A handful of ash is what remains after a body is cremated, but if properly planned beforehand, one can give life to eight other persons by donating body organs to those who are in need.
Healthy transplantable organs and tissues may be donated to be transplanted into another person whose organs are malfunctioning and posing threat to life. Donated organs give the recipient the opportunity of a longer and better quality of life. An awareness programme on World Organ Donation day was held in Yog Mata hospital by Muskan Foundation wherein doctors and staff members called upon the people to pledge for organ donation after death.
As per the current statistics, in India, the current organ donation rate is 0.5 donors per million population as compared to more than 30 donors per million in some western countries. Globally Spain tops in organ donation while India’s neighbour Sri Lanka is the biggest cornea supplier to the world. The Sri Lankan Government has made it mandatory for its people to donate eyes after death. City based physician Dr Mehak Singh said, “Vital organs like heart, liver, kidneys, intestines, lungs, and pancreas can be donated in case of ‘brain death’. When the brain stops functioning, these organs can still be used for the recipient. However, other parts like corneas, heart valves, skin and bones can be donated only in case of natural death.”
Neha Malik, founder member of Muskan Foundation said, “The aim of this day is to motivate normal healthy human beings to pledge to donate organs after death, and to spread awareness about the importance of organ donation. We have launched organ donation day campaign in schools and colleges and it provides a great opportunity in everyone’s life to come ahead and pledge to donate their precious organs.
This year till date, nine members of our foundation have pledged for full body donation after death and got registered at Himalayan Institute of Medical Sciences at Jolly Grant.” Donation of a pair of eyes within six hours of death can benefit four persons, since cornea is used by layering process, added Malik.
The family members can observe certain precautions, like calling the nearest eye bank or NGO which has a tie up with the eye bank and keeping eyes moist of the deceased by putting wet cotton over the eyes and pillow under the head of the person.
Death certificate by any local doctor is a must for the doctors who perform surgical removal of organs. The process of organ donation is governed by a transplant regulatory body and special Acts laid down by authorities. All hospitals conducting transplants have to be registered under the Gsovernment and follow rules and regulations so it is entirely legal process.
Kidney, lungs, heart, eye, liver, pancreas, cornea, small intestine, skin tissues, bone tissues, heart valves and veins can be used for transplant surgeries. Organs must be removed as soon as possible after the determination of brain death, while circulation is being maintained artificially. Tissues may be removed within 12 to 24 hours of death, say the doctors.
The donor of the organs plays a role of god in the life of the person receiving the transplant. Dr Sanjay Shah said, “Our scriptures are full of instances in which the saints and sages donated their body parts even when alive.
Rishi Dadhichi donated his bones to help Devas, says a legend. By pledging to donate organs after death one could play a major role in beautifying life of someone, increasing the period of living a life more than expectations.”