What is organ donation:
Organ donation is the process of Retrieving or Procuring an organ from a live or deceased person known as a DONOR. The process of recovering organs is called HARVESTING. This organ is transplanted into the RECEPIENT who is in need of that organ.
There are two types of organ donation – Live Donation & Deceased or Cadaver Donation.
When we talk about pledging your organs or about organ donation, it is about Deceased organ donation or cadaver organ donation. This is organ donation from a person who has been declared brain dead by a team of authorized doctors at a hospital. A person is said to be brain dead when there is an irreversible loss of consciousness, absence of brain stem reflexes and no spontaneous respiration.
Which Organs can be donated:
There are six organs that can be donated and transplanted :
Kidney — The functioning lifespan of a transplanted kidney is about nine years. Of all organs, kidneys are most in demand and the most frequently donated. Most diseases that affect the kidneys affect both at the same time.
Liver — The liver is necessary for vitamin storage, removing waste from blood and digestion. The liver is the only organ that can grow cells in order to regenerate itself. A liver can actually be split in two and transplanted into two different people.
Heart — A heart will beat about 2.5 billion times in the course of an average lifetime. Once removed from the donor’s body, a heart can only survive for about four hours.
Lungs — Single or double-lung transplants can be performed..
In addition to organs, one can also donate tissue, blood stem cells, blood and platelets, and even the whole body.
Tissues : It is composed of layers of cells that function together to serve a specific purpose. It must be donated within 24 hours of death.
Cornea: One of the most commonly transplanted tissues each year is the cornea. It is a transparent covering over the eye — is the eye’s primary focusing component. A cornea transplant restores sight to recipients blinded by an accident, infection or disease. Corneas can be transplanted whole or in parts and require no anti-rejection drugs in the recipient. Corneas from a 75-year-old donor are just as effective as younger corneas.
Bones: Donated bones can be used to replace cancerous bones in the arm or leg in lieu of amputation.
Skin: Among its many uses, skin can be used in grafts for burn victims or for post-mastectomy breast reconstruction.
Veins: Donated veins are used in cardiac bypass surgery.
Other donated tissue includes tendons, ligaments, heart valves and cartilage
Brain Death and organ donation
A brain death results from a severe irreversible injury to the brain or hemorrhage which causes all the brain activity to stop. All areas of the brain are damaged and no longer function due to which a person cannot sustain his/her own life, but vital body functions may be maintained by an artificial support system. This maintains circulation to vital organs long enough to facilitate organ donation. Patients classified as brain dead can have their organs surgically removed for organ donation.
A brain dead person has absolutely no chance of recovering. Brain death is a form of death and is irreversible.
Having a medical condition does not always prevent you from becoming an organ donor. At death, a qualified doctor responsible for your care will decide whether some or all organs are suitable for transplant.
But, there are a few conditions that will exclude you from donating organs.
You cannot become an organ donor if you have: