Cadaveric Organ Transplant ? A New Lease of Life
Cadaveric Organ Transplant ? A New Lease of Life Aug 06, 2014
Human to human transplantation of organs has been accepted by healthcare professionals all over the world as the best, and often the only one for a wide range of fatal diseases such as end stage kidney failure. It has been one of the greatest advances of medical science that has resulted in many people getting a renewed lease of life. Experts say that the organs from one donor can save as many as 8 lives. The need of Organ Donation in India Organ donation is fast developing into a major treatment protocol. However, it is yet to make a significant dent in India. Every year, hundreds of people die while waiting for an organ transplant. Due to lack of awareness and misconceptions, there is a shortage of organ donors, and with each passing year, the gap between the number of organs donated and the people waiting for organ donation is getting larger. Some disturbing stats around the same are as follows:
- Almost 1.75 lakh people in India need a kidney; however, less than 5000 of them receive one.
- Only 1 out of 30 people who need a kidney receive one.
- 90% of people in the waiting list die without getting an organ.
- India’s annual liver transplant requirement is over100000, but we manage only about 1000.
- 70% liver transplants are taken care of by a live donor, but only 30% are dependent on cadaver (deceased) donors.
- Annually more around 50000 hearts are required along with 20000 lungs.
- Ignorance and Lack of Knowledge – There is a major lack of awareness about cadaveric organ transplant in India, and people would come forth if they received more information and ways to register for organ donation.
- Myths and Beliefs – The Indian society, mired in traditional beliefs, is not very amenable to the idea of cadaver organ transplants. What they fail to realize is that in a country with a long waiting list of transplants, they are spoiling the chance of someone leading a normal life, just because they want to consign the whole body to last rites.
- Expressing one’s wish to donate – Failure to record one’s wish about organ donation after death with a healthcare facility or with family members also is a major reason for the shortage of organs.
- Hospital Organ Donation registry coordinates the process of cadaver organ donation, i.e., organ donation after death and transplantation.
- A transplant coordinator travels to the hospital to evaluate each potential donor and to determine the medical suitability of each organ. The transplant coordinator obtains detailed medical information about the patient's current medical condition as well as any past medical history.
- The transplant coordinator or family services coordinator meets with the potential donor's next of kin, or other authorized party, to offer the opportunity for donation. This conversation is carefully timed and takes place only after the next of kin is given time to understand their loved one is brain dead.
- After making the decision to donate, the next of kin will be asked to sign a consent form documenting which organs and/or tissues they wish to donate.
- The recovery of the organs is performed in the operating room where the donor is being cared for. The transplant coordinator oversees the arrival and departure of the surgical recovery team. The recovery team consists of surgeons, nurses, the transplant coordinator and an organ preservation technician.
- Just prior to being removed from the donor, each organ is flushed free of blood with a specially prepared ice-cold preservation solution that contains electrolytes and nutrients. The organs are then placed in sterile containers, packaged in wet ice, and transported to the recipient's transplant center. It is important to transport the organs from the donor to each intended recipient as quickly as possible. Hearts and lungs must be transplanted within approximately four hours after being removed from the donor. Livers can be preserved between 12 - 18 hours; a pancreas can be preserved 8 - 12 hours; intestines can be preserved approximately 8 hours; kidneys can be preserved 24 - 48 hours.
- In such a scenario, it is important to be able to transport the organs from one facility to another in a short span of time. Hence the need for a ‘Green Corridor’ such as the one created in Chennai traffic for transporting a donor's heart to the hospital via a specially created route in less than 14 minutes during rush hour. A ‘Green Corridor’ enables healthcare facilities to transport vital organs for transplant from one place to another even in peak traffic hours. This requires an efficient coordination on the part of healthcare facility, the Doctors and awareness among masses to cooperate when such a situation arises.