Organ Donation Day - Why One Should Volunteer To Be An Organ Donor
By: Milton, Diamond
Published On: August 13, 2021
Organ transplantation is one of the greatest marvels of medical science. It has saved the lives of several patients who were suffering fatal consequences of organ failure before the procedure’s inception in the early 1950s.
In 2019, Spain had the highest deceased organ donor rate in the world with around 50 persons per million of population. Comparatively, India’s deceased donor rate of 0.34 per million was much lower than most developed countries. This highlights the opportunity to create awareness around the importance of organ donation in our country.
According to a 2016 survey in India, approximately 5 lakh people die each year due to non-availability of organs. This has resulted in a noticeable disparity between the number of patients who need transplants and the number of people who are willing to donate.
Procedure for organ transplant
Organ transplants are more often than not the only viable treatment for last stage organ failure. This is possible because a single donor is capable of potentially saving the lives of at least 8 people! We gain an ever deeper perspective by looking at the specifics here:
One deceased organ donor can save two patients from painful and expensive dialysis treatments by donating their two kidneys.
A donated liver can be split into half to save two patients.
Similarly, the lungs of one donor can save the lives of two patients.
The pancreas and the heart can also be donated to fight the adverse effects of organ failure.
Many prospective donors are usually unaware of this process. Some are aware and willing to donate after death but have families who hesitate to be part of a life-saving exercise of such magnitude due to some misconceptions.
Organ donation in the wake of COVID-19
If the existing misconceptions surrounding organ donation weren’t enough, the COVID-19 pandemic worsened things. There was a dramatic decrease in the number of organ transplants all over India during the early weeks of the pandemic. A few recipients refused to undergo transplants fearing Covid. Due to lockdown, there was a decline in the number of road accidents which ultimately reduced the number of potential donors.
A survey in 2021 revealed that there was not a single case of Covid-19 among recipients in 87 transplants during the pandemic. This news came as a huge sigh of relief for organ transplant recipients and their families.
How can crowdfunding help?
Crowdfunding is a concept that has gained traction over the years in India. While crowdfunding has been used for various projects, its largest impact has been felt across people who raised funds for medical causes. It involves a large group of people from all over the world who contribute small amounts of money for causes that they care about.
Even if the recipient manages to pay the entire amount, they are put on the waiting list. Sometimes, it takes years together until they finally receive a donor match. Additionally, they have to pay for dialysis charges, medicines and also hospital accommodation. The medical bills during this period are almost as close to that of the transplant.
Crowdfunding platforms like ImpactGuru have now made it possible for these patients to come forward and ask for help online
What can you do?
Registering for organ donation can be done at the nearest hospital and also on online websites. Consent from family members is very essential for the donation to take place. You can also help patients who are waiting for transplants by starting an online fundraiser for them or donating to transplant fundraisers to help them raise funds for their treatment.
The concept of organ donation is still a myth in most parts of the world. Most people don’t know the benefits of an organ donation and how it can save the lives of multiple patients at once.
An altruistic act such as organ donation must be given better recognition. On this World Organ Donation Day, let us pledge to donate our organs after death and also spread awareness among the community on this selfless act.