What is organ donation?
Organ donation is a noble act which gives us an opportunity to save many lives after our death.
The donated organs are transplanted into patients who are suffering from end stage organ failure.
As many patients suffer from end stage diseases of various organs, organ donation is the only ray of hope for them.
What is organ transplantation?
Human organ transplantation is the achievement of modern medical science where through surgical procedure the healthy organ from a living or dead person is implanted in an individual suffering from end stage organ failure. This is an established surgical treatment available for the needy patients.
Which organ can be donated?
The vital organs like heart, liver, two kidneys, pancreas, intestine, lungs etc can be donated only if we die a brain death. However cornea (eyes),skin and other tissues can be donated after cardiac death. A living person can donate limited organs like a single kidney [as we have two kidneys] or part of the liver and only to his /her or close relative. The other vital organs can be retrieved from a brain dead individual.
What is brain death?
Any individual with an irreparably damaged brain stem, which is an important part of the central nervous system, is declared brain dead. Brain dead individuals cannot regain their consciousness and are not able to breathe on their own as brain stem has the centre for both. The heart can continue to function on a ventilator and other support for a max. of 36 to 72 hrs.As the blood supply to organs can be maintained for few hours, it is during this period, that the organs can be retrieved after obtaining consent from the close relatives. Brain Death can occur only in Intense Care Unit.[ICU]
How is brain death declared?
Brain death is declared by the Brain Death Committee which involves team of four doctors recognised by the Govt. and who are not involved in performing the transplant surgery. The team has to perform the brain stem death test twice at the gap of min. 6 hrs. The death is declared in the hospitals recognized for transplantation or at organ retrieval centre and is accepted worldwide. The brain death certificate is then issued to the relative
Is there any chance of survival of a Brain dead individual?
No. A Brain dead individual is declared dead and cannot be revived. There is no question of survival of the individual as the set of test done by the expert leaves no possible doubt of the diagnosis of the brain death. Brain death has nothing to do with mercy killing; the organs are taken only after the person is declared brain dead. There is difference between comatose patients and brain dead individuals. The comatose patient's are not dead where as brain death is the stage beyond coma and there is no chance of the individual regaining consciousness. A brain dead individual is declared dead. Organs are never taken at the cost of donor's life.
Does the donor have to die only in the hospital?
Yes. As brain death can occur only in ICU, an organ donor necessarily dies in ICU of the hospital. No vital organs can be retrieved if the death occurs at home. However, eyes and skin can be retrieved upto 6 hrs. after the heart stops beating hence this can be done even if the individual dies at home.
Is it legal?
Yes. In India, The Human Organ Transplantation Act was passed in 1994 which mainly covers the 3 areas.
It recognizes brain stem death.
It regulates removal, storage and transplantation of organs therapeutic purpose.
It prevents commercial dealings in human organs. No human organ can be bought or sold.
Is the donor???s body given back to the relatives?
Yes. The body is given back to the relatives to perform the last rites after the retrieval of the organs. The organ is retrieved only for therapeutic purposes. This is different from body donation where the whole body is given to the anatomy department of the Medical College for research purposes.
Are the organs given only to the rich?
No. As per the priority criteria like age, blood group, waiting period, Clinical status of the recipients, the organs are given to the most needy and suitable patients. In Maharashtra the Govt. has guidelines to give the priority score to all the waiting recipients to distribute the organs. Money, race, religion are not the criteria for distribution.
Will the donor family know to whom the organs are given?
No. The name and the address of the recipients is not given to the donor family and vice versa
Is there any disfigurement after organ donation?
No. The organs are removed carefully by taking the donor to the operation theatre so there is no disfigurement. There is a cut on the body which is sutured just like any other surgery performed on the living person.
Does our religion support organ donation?
Yes. All the religions in India consider it as a noble act.
Declaration forms & Donor cards are available at the following address:-
ZTCC Completing lives
Zonal Transplant Co-ordination Centre
L.T.M.G. Hospital,(Sion Hospital) College Building Room No A/29,Near Skin Bank, Sion (West),Mumbai-400022. Website: www.ztccmumbai.org E-mail:[email protected]