Organ donation: Four things to keep in mind when considering a transplant

Due to lack of awareness, there are myths and fears in people's minds about organ donation.

By Zee Media Bureau | Last Updated: Aug 14, 2017, 08:33 AM IST
Organ donation: Four things to keep in mind when considering a transplant

New Delhi: Organ donation is a term not unheard of. Ever since the first organ donation took place in 1954 when a living donor gave a kidney to his identical twin and the first successful kidney transplant was performed, organ donation became a ground breaking phenomena in medical science. The practice never looked back and rose gradually but steadily among the masses.

Organ transplantation has been one of the superlative advances of modern science that has resulted in many patients acquiring a renewed lease of life.

Since the passing of the legislation in India entitled, 'Transplantation of Human Organ (THO) Act' in 1994, it has been possible to undertake multi-organ transplant activity from brain dead donors. This heralded a brand new era in Indian medicine and awareness for this practice is essential. With an aim to raise and increase awareness and encourage people to pledge to donate organs after death, India observes the 13th of August as Organ Donation Day every year.

Due to lack of awareness, there are myths and fears in people's minds about organ donation. According to health experts, only 0.08 percent of Indians donate their organs to the needy as compared to 70-80 percent of Spaniards and Belgians.

Every year 200,000 people in India need a new kidney and 100,000 need a new liver, but only two to three percent of the demand for new organs is met.

The low proportion of organ donors in Indian population can largely be attributed to ignorance, superstition and an absence of conducive regulatory framework.

There are a large number of people still waiting for a transplant and it is a fact that these patients will succumb to their ailments due to an insufficient number of organ donors.

The ratio gap between organ donors and the patients in need of the organ like liver, kidney, a heart, etc. is huge and this relative difference in numbers is not going to close anytime in the near future.

Under such a circumstance, the relatives of the patient will do anything to secure an organ and see their loved ones live a little extended life. Here are few facts to consider when looking for organ transplantation, says Dr. SatishChandra, Medical Expert of Credihealth.

3D Printing

The emergence of this new technology holds a great promise to revolutionize the whole organ transplant industry. This machine has the capability to materialize any object almost out of nothing and this feature of the printer has attracted the attention of many doctors. It not fictional anymore that one day we might see a developed version of this 3D printer that can make your organs for you.

Extra Kidneys

When the thought of an organ transplant comes to mind it is usually thought that the old dysfunctional organ will be removed and replaced by one that is functional and healthy. But, it's not the case with kidneys; in a normal kidney transplant, the organs are not removed. It is due to the intricate location of the kidney; the doctor, therefore, leaves the two kidneys intact and places the transplant somewhere else in the patient's body.

A Match does not Guarantee Acceptance of the Organ

Just securing an organ for transplant is not enough to save the life of the patient. It is pivotal that the patient's body accepts the organ. Earlier, an organ transplant patient could not survive for very long because our immune system sees the organ as a foreign body and starts to attack it in the vain attempt to protect itself. Therefore, it is essential that the organ is the closest match possible.

Life Expectancy

You must have seen it in many popular movies that the relative of a person struggles to secure an organ and in the climax, they finally come across one and the patient and the loved one spend a merry life thereafter. But it's not the case; there are several complications and very frequent visits to the doctor. A person is considered to be lucky if they live for a decade after the transplant. This is mainly due to organ rejection by the body.

The demand for organ donation is increasing day by day. The reason for this can be several and the paramount among the reasons is a lack of education about organ donations. Combining the population of India and China, it accounts for nearly one-third of the total world population and the numbers of donors in these countries are the least in ratio of the population.

Educating the benefits of becoming an organ donor in these countries can solve half of the world's problems. Securing an organ for your loved ones might be the most onerous task that you can come across. There is a whole black market capable of providing the required organ for the right price.

But, there are several risks involved with it that could prove fatal for your loved ones. Therefore, think hard about your choices before deciding on the source and institute of organ transplantation.

(With ANI inputs)