Everything You Need to Know About Organ Donation

Organ transplant is one of the greatest medical marvels that have prolonged and improved the lives of several patients around the globe.

Almost every person who dies naturally, or in an accident, is a potential donor.

Let’s look at some frequently asked questions on Organ Donations:

1. Who can be a donor?

People of all ages and medical histories should consider themselves as potential deceased donors. Your medical condition at the time of death will decide which organs and tissue can be donated. Living donors should be in good overall physical and mental health. Some medical conditions could prevent an individual from being a living donor.

2. How to be a Donor?

Organ donation is a voluntary process, where once an individual decides to donate in his lifetime, he/she can fill up a form either online or in a hospital to register to show his/her intent to donate and once registered, he/she will get a donor card. But the card is not legally binding and the final consent to donate is taken by the family members.

The second way that deceased donation takes place is when a patient is declared brain dead, which means there has been permanent damage of all brain functions and the condition is irreversible.

3. What organs can be donated?

Organs that can be donated include

  1. Kidney

  2. Liver

  3. Pancreas

  4. Heart

  5. Lungs

Tissue constitutes:

  1. Eyes

  2. Skin

  3. Nerves

  4. Brain

  5. Bone

  6. Bone Marrow

  7. Heart Valves

  8. Blood

4. Can I mention what I want to donate?

When registering online, most sites give you the option to choose which organs and tissues you donate or to donate everything that can be used.

5. Can all organs be donated only after death? No, one can donate a kidney, parts of the liver, and parts of the pancreas when alive if there is a match. This match is determined by several medical examinations. Most importantly, the blood group must match.

6. Who all can one donate to? Living Donation: Majorly to near relatives such as spouse, daughter, son, mother, father, brother, sister, grandfather, grandmother, grandson or granddaughter. In unrelated transplants, permission from Authorization Committee is required. Deceased Donation: As per allocation criteria

7. How does organ donation help recipients with organ failure?

For an organ recipient, a transplant often means a second chance at life. Vital organs like the heart, kidneys, lungs, liver, and pancreas can be transplanted to those whose organs are failing.

For some recipients, an organ transplant means no longer having to be dependent on costly treatments to survive.

8. Can I opt for donating my entire body? Yes, you can donate the entire body at a medical college.

9. Does my family have to know about my decision to pledge my organs? Is the donor card enough to convey my wish to donate my organs?

Yes, it is important that family members know and agree with the individual’s decision to donate. The individual’s decision can be reversed by the family when the actual time comes.

10. In case of an accident, will doctors or hospitals not make efforts to save me because I have pledged my organs? Will it affect my treatment? No. All efforts would be made to save your life. Organ donation can occur only in case of brain death – the irreversible end of all brain activity.

11. Will my family have to pay for the donation?

No donation cost is borne by the donor or the donor’s family.

12. Can I withdraw my pledge at a later stage in life, if I wish? Yes, you have to inform the agency or the hospital you registered with.

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