Organ Donation- Types, Process, Risk & Complications
What is an organ donation?
Organ donation is the process of removing a healthy organ from a person (the donor) and transplanting it to another (the recipient) to give a new life to the recipient. This is a legal process done either by consent while the donor is alive or dead with the assent of the next of the kin. The organs that can be pledged are- kidney, heart, liver, pancreas, intestines, lungs, skin, bone and bone marrow, and cornea. Fifty thousand people die every year in India waiting for an organ transplant. There is a huge gap between the number of organ donors and the recipients. It is estimated that over one million people suffer from end-stage organ failure, but only a handful of 3,500 transplants are done annually. Organ donation awareness among the mass population is the only way to fill the demand and supply gap. There are two types of organ donation:
1. Living organ donation – When a living person donates an organ or portion of an organ is called Living organ donation. Living organ donors can donate a lung, part of a liver, pancreas, and one kidney.
2. Deceased or Cadaver organ donation- Organ donation done after death is called deceased organ donation. The donor's family gives consent for the donation before going for the process of organ transplant. Most of the organ donations come from people who have died. Heart, liver, kidney, pancreas, lung can be donated after death
What is the Organ Donation Process?
- * Living Donation process: The living donor has to go through some medical tests and evaluations to confirm the medical compatibility with the recipient. Doctors after examining the test reports and thorough clinical examination confirm that the donor is compatible with the recipient or not. The living donor’s organs are retrieved surgically and stored in a chemical solution at the required temperature. The donor is kept under medical care for few days until he is fit to go home.
- * Deceased Organ Donation or Organ donation after death: The donor's family has to sign the consent for the donation before the procedure of organ retrieval can be performed. Meanwhile, the donor is kept on life support with doctors looking after all her/his needs till the retrieval of the organs is authorized to move ahead. Recipients who are suitable for all the organs are identified from a waiting list. They are notified and requested to reach the hospital. After retrieval, the body of the donor is respectfully handed over to the respective family.
Risks and Complications of Organ Donation:
An important risk for an organ transplant surgery is the threat of rejection of the transplanted organ. The body's immune system rejects what it straight away perceives as foreign tissue, causing several reactions within the body. Wherever possible, doctors supervising the organ transplant surgical procedure will try to match the donor's and the recipient's blood and tissue to reduce the chances of organ transplant rejection after organ transplantation is performed, and additionally use immunosuppressant medicines to help the recipient body accept the organ more comfortably.
Other risks of organ transplant surgical treatment also involve infection, excessive bleeding, pain, and blood clots. However, most of these threats do not happen now a days because of the diligence of the teams concerned in organ transplant surgical procedure. However, organ transplant rejection stays the vital and constant hazard.
Medications required post organ transplantation
Most patients immediately experience a higher quality of lifestyle after an organ transplant, but steady vigilance in terms of way of life and the medicinal drug is strictly vital and continues to be a lifelong procedure for patients who have undergone organ transplantation. Risky behaviours which include smoking, excessive intake of alcohol, and often any consumption of alcohol, use of recreational pills, and skipping prescribed medicine increases chances of organ transplant failure and morbidity. Medication required after organ transplant is prescribed via the health practitioner and their team of medical examiners and needs to be followed as a strict routine.
Immunosuppressant medicines that are prescribed after the organ transplant can be subject to change depending on the patient's reaction, drug level and kidney function.
Precaution after organ transplant
Quality of life is improved for an affected person who undergoes a successful organ transplant surgical operation, they have to take numerous precautions continually. Patients should take the following precautions post organ transplant to lead a healthy life:
- * To continue medications & regular follow up with the treating doctor or nephrologist
- * Regular exercise and maintaining ideal body weight
- * Patients needs o take adequate precautions & hygiene to avoid infection
How to donate Organs or pledge organ donation?
You can pledge to donate our organs by going online to the NOTTO(National Organ & Tissue Transplant Organisation) and registering yourselves, or you can visit Aakash healthcare for information and guidance related to this. The reason for the huge demand and supply gap is the unavailability of organ donors.
The Department of Renal Sciences and Kidney Transplantation at Aakash Healthcare, Dwarka is dedicated to providing the highest quality care for patients with renal disorders. Our multidisciplinary team of Nephrologists, Urologists, and organ transplant team of experts work together to provide comprehensive care for patients with acute and chronic diseases of the kidney. Our highly skilled and experienced team has performed more than 500 Kidney transplantations and is committed to providing compassionate care. Our team emotionally and practically supports everyone affected by kidney or renal-related problems, helping our patients get better in a friendly and supportive environment.
Dr. Umesh Gupta
Senior Consultant & Director
Nephrology & Kidney Transplant.