New Delhi: About 4 lakh people die across India every year due to lack of organs available for transplant, according to Fortis Organ Retrieval and Transplant. The gap between people in need of organs and those wanting to donate organs to meet this need, is huge in India.
While 36.6 persons per million of population donated organs in Croatia in 2013, 36 donated in Spain, 26 donated in the United States, only 0.5 persons per million donated organs in India, as per ORGAN India, an NGO that promotes organ donation.
Experts believe the need of the hour is to spread awareness. Here’s a quick guide explaining organ donation, and all that it entails.
Each individual has the potential to save at least seven lives by donating organs. One can donate organs while one is alive and healthy, and when one is declared brain-dead.
In clinical and legal terms, brain death refers to the irreversible loss of all brain functions, when ventilation and medications are used to keep the heart beating and blood flowing to the organs.
There is a process that hospitals follow before declaring someone as brain dead.
Age, sex, religion, caste, creed are no bar to organ donation. The health of the organs, determined after a thorough medical screening at the time of donation, is what ascertains whether a candidate is fit or unfit for donation.
Following are the organs and tissues can be donated during an individual’s lifetime:
Following are the organs and tissues that a deceased donor can donate:
In case of natural death, one can donate tissues like cornea, skin, ligaments, bones, heart valves, tendons, veins, and cartilages.
Once the organs have been harvested, the life span of each organ varies and they need to be transplanted within that time frame.
Is Organ Donation Legally Binding?
Organ donation in India is not legally binding.
When one pledges to donate organs, it is imperative that family members be informed about it. The final decision of whether or not one’s organs can be donated lies with the next of kin. If they agree, organs can be donated. If not, irrespective of the individual’s desire to donate, the organs will not be harvested.