In India, awareness about organ donation is a growing concern. Our country has a wide gap between patients needing transplants and the organs available through recipients. Moreover, according to a survey In India, every year, about 500,000 people die because of the non-availability of organs, 200,000 people die due to liver disease, and 50,000 people die because of heart disease. Further, 150,000 people await a kidney transplant, but only 5,000 get among them. In such a scenario, organ donation and awareness about the same can play a significant role in helping to save the lives of various individuals who need immediate transplants.
Organ transplant plays a vital role in the life of people who are suffering from genetic conditions like polycystic kidney disease, cystic fibrosis, or a heart defect. Infections like hepatitis and diabetes, physical injuries, and accidents can also raise a need for a transplant. However, the transplant process can vary depending on the organ, although the need to match a donor with a recipient is significant and critical throughout the year.
For an organ recipient, the transplant process begins when a qualified doctor puts them on an organ transplant list. For this, the doctor will need to examine the patient and diagnose them with a severe medical condition that requires them to be on the transplantation list. Overall, organ transplantation is a complex process involving many details, including blood group and other body values to match the donor and the recipient. Further, other factors may play a key role depending on the organ involved. For instance, the donor and their recipients must have compatible antibodies and similar body sizes in a kidney transplant.
Once a patient is eligible for a transplant, surgery is conducted when a matched donor becomes available. When an organ becomes available, the patient who requires a transplant must respond quickly to the call from their surgeon. Since surgery needs to occur within a fixed duration (generally four hours) as organs cannot survive for long outside the body, the patient must reply almost immediately to the call.
After understanding the importance of organ donation, here are some simple steps to help you become an organ donor in India. According to the information released on the AIIMS, there are two ways in which a person can become a donor. The first is when a person themselves pledges their organs while they are alive, and the second is after their death when the family decides to donate their organs.
If a person wants to become a donor, the steps that they need to follow to become include the following:
The hospital also accepts unregistered donations if a person dies without signing up to become a donor. In that case, a family member can decide to donate the organs of the person who has died after signing a consent form.
Nephrologist & Transplant Physician
Hiranandani Hospital, Vashi