Everything you wanted to know about Organ Donation

Is there a need of for organ donors?

Many patients die each year of end stage organ disease because they have no suitable organ donors from their own family. Solid organs from a single brain dead patient can give a ‘Gift of Life’ to at least seven people in need (two kidneys, lungs, liver, heart, and pancreas). Such acts can effectively increase the donor pool and eventually help bridge the enormous gap between needs and available organs. Pledging organ donation before death can be of great help in persuading the relatives of brain dead patient to allow organ donation...

What is Brain Death?

Not all comatose patients are brain dead. However all brain dead patients are necessarily in irreversible coma and cannot breathe at all without ventilator support. When the brain stem which controls heart beat, spontaneous breathing suffers irreversible damage due to injury or disease, a person becomes brain dead and the heart stops beating inevitably within a short time.

When will my gift be used?

For the purpose of organ donation, only after two sets of Independent evaluations at six hours interval by accredited specialists on the hospital’s Brain Death Committee have confirmed brain death, and only after relatives have thereafter given consent can the organs be removed for transplantation.

What medical conditions exclude a person from donating organs?

Persons who have cancers other than of the central nervous system and those who are HIV positive are normally excluded. Other exclusions occur on specific evaluation of each potential donor (e.g. sepsis)

Is it possible that brain dead patients survive after being declared brain dead?

It is important to know that many patients in coma can survive or recover because they are not brain-dead. However a brainstem dead person though in a coma cannot recover as brain death is irreversible. This is specifically ascertained as mentioned above in detail.

Will the relatives of the deceased donor know to whom organs are given?

No, this information is kept confidential.

Will organ donation affect funeral rites or burial arrangements?

The deceased donor’s body is returned to the family in a proper manner without any external signs of disfigurement, except a properly sutured surgical wound. This ensures that the last rites or the funeral are not interfered with.

Are there any monetary benefits for organ donors?

As this is a Gift of Life there is no monetary compensation for the donor's family.

What is the stand of various religious about organ donation?

All religions endorse organ donation as the highest expression of humanitarian ideals. There is an overwhelming feeling amongst religious thinkers and practitioners’ world over, that the gift of an organ essential to the life of another human being is consistent with the principles of universal religious and ethical systems.

What can I do to advance this life saving and life preserving program?

Acquaint others about the donor card. The more donors available the more awareness there will be in society.

Whom do I contact to know more about organ donation?

Each of the Registered Hospitals in Pune has a trained Transplant Coordinator who will give you all the information you need as well as a donor card.

You can also approach the ICU doctors with your desire to donate your relative’s organs

Present status of ‘Deceased Donor’ organ transplants

Advances in medical sciences make it possible to replace organs that are diseased. For instance thousands of kidney transplants have been performed since 1954.

Techniques of transplanting solid organs like kidney, liver, heart, pancreas and lungs too have steadily improved and are well advanced today. Tissues like corneas & blood too have been donated for many years. Similarly, in advance nations, bones & skin (which, unlike solid organs can be stored in tissue bank) can also be donated.

In Pune, kidney & livers from ‘deceased donors’ (brain-stem dead donors) are being regularly transplanted since 2001 and 2011 respectively. Their ethical distribution is regulated by the Zonal transplant Coordination Center (ZTCC) Pune in accordance with the Transplantation of Human Organs Act 1994 & various Government rules. These organs are transplanted into patients registered on relevant Central Waiting Lists for kidneys and livers on priority bases based on internationally accepted medical criteria.

The lists are operated and updated by a specially appointed Central Transplant Coordinator for the Pune zone. She also organizes awareness programs aimed at attitudinal changes towards organ donation amongst the lay public in Pune surrounding areas.