Organ transplantation over the last 50 years has only been possible due to the magnificent act of organ donation by almost a million organ donors in the world. To recognize this noble act an organ donor week is celebrated throughout the world between 8th to 14th. Organ and tissue Transplantation is now accepted method of treatment for end organ failure be it kidneys, liver, heart, lungs or pancreas transplants or transplant of tissues like corneas, bone, skin, face. Organ donation as we know is possible when one is naturally dead, or suffers from brain death or a living person can donate some organs like a kidney, part of liver or bone-marrow or if not anything else donate blood.
If a patient is declared brain dead due to bleeding within the confined spaces of the brain almost the whole body can be recycled by the act of organ donation. Approx. 1% of hospital deaths are due to brain death and these are special 1% patients as far as organ donation is concerned. Most of these deaths are very traumatic due to road traffic accidents of a young person and the only possible positive outcome of this wasted death is the act of organ donation. This concept is still new in our country. After brain death a number of organs and tissues can be donated and used. In one cadaver donation from abroad almost 43 people were helped with donation of not only kidneys, liver, heart, lungs, pancreas, intestines but also tissues such as corneas, hand, toes, arteries, vein, cartilage, skin and bones.
There is currently huge crisis due to shortage of organs globally and more so in India. However this is a crisis with cure. We in India, need to push our cadaver donation programme. Most of our organs come from the living donors, of which it is estimated that in almost 50% there is some sort of commerce involved. We approx. do 3500 living kidney transplants, about 100 living liver transplants, 17,000 corneal transplants and about 100 odd organs are transplanted from brain dead donors. What is required is for all these transplantations to multiply manifold as the waiting list runs into many thousands. The only solution is to give a push to the cadaver programme as we have no lack of brain deaths in our hospitals.
Tamil Nadu health dept has taken some key initiatives in this direction and we hope this will give momentum to the programme.
MOHAN Foundation has been a facilitator of the cadaver programme for the last 10 years and worked as support group for patients, physicians and the public. We have the records of almost all cadaver donors in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh in the last 10 years. We as an organisation have tried to provide the donor families a platform to recognise their invaluable gift to the society. Hence releasing this special cover during the organ donor week is only yet another way of expressing our gratitude towards these unsung heroes who are the main backbone of this programme.
Let us stand together on the eve of Independence Day of India and salute our organ donors for their very holy act of organ donation to help their fellow human beings. This is the ultimate in a gift one human being can render to his fellow human.