For patients with end organ failure liver failure/kidney failure for example, without a transplant it is the end of the road. An altruistic donation has the potential to save as many as seven lives (one liver, two kidneys, one pancreas, small intestine, heart, two lungs). Also other tissues like corneas, blood vessels, heart valves can significantly help many patients.
Any individual, usually less than 75 years old can opt to donate their organs. For the organs to be functional and useful to their prospective recipients, only people who die in hospital and are being managed in ICUs can donate. Even in-hospital patients who have a cardiac arrest are usually not considered to be suitable candidates for donation.
If one is keen to donate one’s organs one can make it known to close family members in the form of advanced directives. In the event of death, it is the family members who take the decision to donate. Carrying a donor card is also indicative of this wish, but not binding while making a decision.
It has to be blood group matched liver/organ. Allocation process is transparent, ethical and has legal sanction under the Transplantation of Human Organs Act of India. It is as per the guidelines listed by Jeevasarthakathe, the allocation body acting under the aegis of the Government of Karnataka. This process ensures that the sickest and the neediest get the liver which is currently a scarce resource
It is unpredictable. The current frequency of deceased donor liver transplants in Bangalore is one or two/week. Last year around 80 livers were transplanted by this process. The requirement is much higher. Therefore the hard reality is that all patients on the waiting list may not receive a deceased donor liver
The offer for a liver from a deceased donor comes from the family members who are keen that their relative’s organs can save someone else’s life. Their decision is final in this matter. Health professionals only give the option and explain, facilitate the process.
A well-defined set of tests for brain stem function are done by Neurospecialists or Critical Care specialists twice at the interval of six hours before declaring brain death. There is no ambiguity involved.
Yes. Legally and medically brain death = death. The person will be on a ventilator to support breathing and may be on medicines to support the heart function. There is irreversible damage to the brain and the person cannot be revived.
Not at all. The treating team will notify family members of the patient that there is no brain stem function and formal tests for brain death are done. During this period care goes on as per standard medical practice.
The hospital will be supportive and help the family of the bereaved. Trained co-ordinators and counsellors will ensure smooth proceedings so that brain death declaration, the process of donation and post mortem are hassle free. There is a financial incentive from Jeeva saarthakathe, the Government of Karnataka for the family of the deceased.
Organ transplantation is one of the greatest advances in modern medicine. Bridging the gap between the need for organ donors and the number of people who donate is the need of the hour. On Organ Donation Day, our experts at Sakra World Hospital have come together to raise awareness on the process of becoming a donor.
If you were looking for a sign, this is it- register as an organ donor to #LightUpLives. Watch this video to find out who can donate and how organ donation works.
Planning to donate your organs? Here's how your organ donation can help #LightUpLives. Be a donor today. Save lives.