Organ donation is the gift of life. Science has come a long way and one of the biggest perks of it is organ donation. Every individual wants to have a fulfilling life. Nobody wants to die early. But we don’t have control over life. Everyone’s time on Earth is uncertain. But we can improve the quality of life we the help of Science and Technology. The advancement in the medical industry is a boon for human civilization. With the help of this technology, we can save the lives of those who die due to organ failure or who can be saved through organ donation. Organ Donation not only affects the donor and the recipient but also families and friends of both sides. It inspires the people around the donor as well as the recipient to how life changes in a positive way after the Organ Donation. The friends and family of the Recipient can enjoy their lives with their loved one again whereas the donor’s family can have little peace knowing that the person they loved is still helping people to live.
ORGAN DONATON IS THE GIFT OF LIFE
A young Youtuber passed away. The incident was very tragic for his family. A very young family experiencing such a devastating loss at such a young age. But the YouTuber had signed organ donation before his death. It did not lessen the pain of the huge loss for the family, but it brought some comfort to the family knowing that despite their tragedy, some people would receive the organ, the gift of life.
Organ Donations provide a life-changing opportunity to those who may have lost hope to live their life. The need for Organ Donation is increasing Day-by-day. According to unpublished data from OPTN, 27000 people were on the organ donation waiting list in 1992 whereas 106,109 patients were on the organ donation waiting list in 2021.
TYPES OF ORGAN DONATION
Living Organ Donation
Living organ donation is when a person donates a little part of his/her organ while living. Many people donate a part of their liver or one of their kidneys to a patient in need of it. The donors can live their lives normally after the donation.
Deceased Organ Donation
It is the organ Donation done after the death of the person. All the organs filled on the organ donation forms are donated to the people in need. It’s a blessing from the dead.
Every coin has two sides. Every action has its equal and opposite reaction. Let’s see the flip side of organ donation.
RISKS TO RECIPIENTS
REJECTION: The recipient’s immune system can reject the new organ, attack it and lead to transplant failure. Signs of rejection can occur within days, months, or years after the transplant. The most common signs of rejection are fever, fatigue, shortness of breath, and flu. Immunosuppressants are provided to the recipients to stop the response of the immune system to the new organ.
INFECTION: Solid-organ transplantation carries the risk of infection. Infections within one month of surgery are mostly related to surgical complications. Blood Transfusion can transmit any potential infection from the donor to the recipient. Other factors like immunosuppression and environmental exposures can cause infections in the later months. Proper screening of donors and recipients is to be done to avoid any transfer of viruses during transplant.
CANCER: Incidences of cancer by organ donation are extremely rare yet there have been few reports in medical history. A person with cancer cannot qualify as a donor if any active malignancy is detected during the screening.
GROWTH DECELERATION: Challenges with growth and development are observed within children recipients. In a study, 79% of children with liver transplants exhibited mild functional impairment compared with a reference population. Poor immune system and excessive use of immunosuppressants may also result in stunted growth.
RISK TO DONOR
Any comorbidities related to the donor are often short-term and can be eliminated through proper medical care. The most common short term postoperative complications are:
- Nerve damage
- Blood loss or Blood clots
- Allergic reaction to anaesthesia
And small injuries can be observed. It is important to receive immediate medical help if any of these complications occur during or post-surgery.
Few Long-term effects observed are:
A kidney donor can experience failure of another kidney during the later stage of life. The chances for kidney failure of a donor are less than 1 % but they have occurred in past.
Kidney donation is associated with post-transplant hypertension. The donor is to be treated just like any other patient with high blood pressure.
Death through organ donation is extremely rare and occurs mainly due to erroneous surgery. Doctors make sure any ailment or complexity is discovered before surgery to identify a healthy donor.
The risks are often rare and may vary considering multiple factors like previous medical history, immune system, organ size, and blood type. Donor’s screening and testing will help doctors understand the risk associated with the surgery for the patient as well as the donor.
Some facts about Organ Donation
- One Organ Donation can save 8 lives.
- One tissue donor can save up to 100 lives.
- Nearly 95% of people support organ donation.
- Being an organ donor does not affect funeral arrangements or any medical care.
- A person is added to the national organ donation waiting list every 10 minutes.