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The Importance of Organ Donation
Posted: Mar 01, 2020
Organ donation is the process when people allow their organs to be removed and transplanted to another person legally either with consent when a person is alive or with the permission of next of kin when a person has died. Organ donation is usually done as a transplant where organs are transplanted to another person or for research. Common transplantations are kidneys, heart, livers, pancreas, lungs, bones, bone marrow, skin, and corneas. Some organ donations such as kidneys or a part of the liver are done when a person is alive and is called living donation. Most organ donations are done when a person is dead and is called a deceased cadaver donation.
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According to studies 5 lakh, people die every year while waiting for organs. There is a huge shortfall in the number of organs donated to the people on the waiting list of a transplant. The number of people waiting for a corneal transplant is over 10 lakh. Organ donation can play a huge role in saving lives. The country can do a lot more to encourage people to donate organs. The government is looking for ways to boost organ transplant has declared 13th August as organ donation day.
Organ transplant often means a second chance in life. Vital organs such as kidneys, heart, and lungs can be transplanted to people whose organs are failing. This could mean allowing the patient to lead a normal life and no longer being dependent on costly treatment to survive. A cornea transplant can help the blind see again.
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At a meeting of think tanks in Pune doctors and activists in 2018, they tried to look for ways to improve the coordination to make the organ donation movement a success. One of the ideas discussed was to increase the involvement of ICU doctors in the program because they can identify brain dead patients and act as transplant coordinators.
In 2018 Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital (KDAH) Mumbai managed to convince the kin of 11 brain dead patients for organ donation. The hospital revealed having a transplant coordinator being a doctor helped in their efforts. Hospitals have also set up transplant units. A successful organ donation movement needs the public and private health sector to work together.
Hospitals need to form a counseling unit to counsel families before and after donation for some time. Hospitals are working together to form a network of cadaver organ transplants to improve coordination. Chennai has shown success after implementing the network. This model can be implemented in other cities as well. There are several advantages to forming a network.
- A larger pool of donors resulted in better-matched organs
- Organ donation is expensive the cadaver needs to be maintained and the added expenses of the retrieval surgery. The network will help in distributing the costs.
- The network will ensure organs are not wasted.
- It will ensure there are standardized retrieval and perfusion techniques. Hospitals in Chennai have shown great success in transplanting organs to other parts of the country.
- The network will allow hospitals to share expertise and staff.
- Donor families are less apprehensive about donation if the organs are shared between different hospitals.
- The network will ensure legal accountability and will be less prone to exploitation.
Problems such as the nonavailability of recipients and wastage of organs are being worked on. NGOs and the government are working together to remove the stigma associated with organ donation.
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