Ahead of World Organ Donation Day, Manipal Hospital, Dwarka on Tuesday launched a new initiative, Manipal Organ Sharing & Transplant (MOST) for raising awareness and helping people with organ donation and transplant surgeries. Meanwhile, Dr. Rajneesh Sahai, Director, National Organ & Tissue Transplant Organisation (NOTTO), and Dr Deepa Malik, India’s first woman medalist in the paralympic games were also present during the event. Dr. Malik also pledged to donate all her eligible organs while discussing the importance and need for organ donation.
Every year, almost 4,00,000 people need organ transplants due to organ failure. The doctors and health experts informed that a single individual can save up to 8 lives by donating the heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, small intestine, and pancreas, after brain death. Dr. (Colonel) Avnish Seth, VSM, Head – Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Manipal Organ Sharing & Transplant, HCMCT Manipal Hospitals said that around 80 percent of organ donations are from living donors and only 20 percent of donations are from a deceased donor.
“Brain death may occur in patients with head injury or stroke in whom the brain dies but the heart continues to beat, thus keeping the organs alive for a while. This makes it hard for the family members to accept that the patient has died and consequently they don’t want to give up. A brain-dead person is capable of donating so many organs. There is an ardent need for awareness,” Dr. Seth said during the event on Tuesday.
The experts also informed that tissues like eyes, skin bones, and heart valves can be donated within 6 to 8 hours of any death. Moreover, the hospital also launched its new department that was inaugurated by Padma Shri Dr. Malik and it aims to provide support and counseling to families of potential donors with brain death and encourage them to consider organ donation.
“When we talk about organ donation, the responsibility of the caregivers and family members of the patient is very important. When an Indian soldier is at the border fighting for his country, his family is aware that anything can happen. The soldier is also aware that he lose his life anytime. These instances should motivate and inspire people to selfless and help others. We met so many families today who came forward to donate their loved one’s organs and facilitated them. I think these people are the biggest motivation for organ donations,” Dr. Malik told Financial Express.com.
During the event, she also said that the requirement for organ transplants has drastically risen and more people need to step forward to bridge this gap. “I urge all Indians to donate their organs and support the cause,” she added.
While talking about the status of organ donation in India, Dr. Seth told Financial Express.com that India carries out the third largest number of organ transplants in the world, annually.
“We have lagged behind in donations and the foremost reason is lack of awareness. The awareness about organ donation should start at the school level. When we talk about brain-dead patients, it’s very difficult for the families to see a beeping pulse and beating heart and ask the doctors to remove life-support for organ donation. There is a need to understand the responsibility towards society and consider organ donation as a routine practice rather than treating it like something exceptional,” Dr. Seth told Financial Express.com.