New Delhi, 03 September 2017: According to reports, about two lakh Indians require organ donation, but not even 10% get it.While Spain has a donor rate of over 34 per million people, countries such as France, Italy, and the USA stand at 20 to 30 million people. It is sad to note that currently, the rate of organ donation from the brain dead in India stands at 0.08 per million people. As per the IMA, not many Indians have the courage to agree for donating the organs of a family member even once they are confirmed as brain dead or dead.
Organ donation is the harvesting of an individual's organs after he or she dies for transplanting them into another person. Every individual can be an organ donor irrespective of age, caste, religion, community, current, or past medical condition. Children can also become organ donors with consent from their parents. Some contraindications to donation include active cancer, HIV, and infection (such as sepsis) or intravenous drug use.
Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee Dr K K Aggarwal, National President Indian Medical Association (IMA) and President Heart Care Foundation of India (HCFI) and Dr RN Tandon – Honorary Secretary General IMA in a joint statement, said, “Organs such as the heart, liver, kidneys, intestines, lungs, and pancreas are donated only in cases of 'brain death' as these are vital organs. Upon natural death, tissues such as corneas, heart valves, skin, and bones can be donated. Organ donation can save the lives of upto 7 individuals and tissue donation can save the lives of another 50. Organ donation can even provide someone with a second chance at life. For many, this process is a way to go back to a normal lifestyle, ability to see, freedom from pain, or even the ability to become mobile again.”
Brain death happens due to a severe, irreversible injury to the brain. In this condition, all areas of the brain are damaged and do not function, as a result of which the person cannot sustain his/her life. However, it is possible to continue vital body functions through an artificial support system, which helps in maintaining circulation to vital organs, long enough to facilitate organ donation.
Adding further, Dr Aggarwal, said, “The need of the hour is to make people aware about the need for organ donation and spread the message around. This will also help in removing misconceptions about donating organs. As per IMA’s policies, 100% IMA members should pledge their organs / tissues after cardiac or brain death.”
Here are some points clearing myths about organ donation.
· Age is not a barrier for donating. Even people above the age of 80 have become organ and tissue donors.
· One does not have to be in perfect health to become a donor. Even those who smoke, drink or don’t have a healthy diet can donate.
· Organ and tissue donation do not disfigure the body in any way.
· In case of an accident, the doctor will always try to save the life of the victim first. Organ donation is considered as an option only when the person dies due to certain circumstances.