World Organ Donation Day-2022 Through organ donation, a person can save eight lives: KIMS Nephrologist

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Kalinga Institute of Medical Sciences (KIMS) has started an audit of brain-dead patients who can be potential organ donors on a monthly basis. On July 13th, the health-care delivery major from Odisha, a KIIT Constituent, had helped in harvesting two kidneys from a brain-dead paediatric patient, which were later successfully transplanted in two patients at a private hospital and both the recipients are doing well.

KIMS’ success came less than a month after the Directorate of Medical Education and Training (DMET)’s nod for harvesting of organs. On July 31, there was also a corneal harvest done at KIMS. The development buttresses KIMS’ readiness for future transplant activities and emerging a leading player in this super speciality domain.

The KIMS success of harvesting two kidneys from the paediatric patient in July, for which the parents played a major role in giving the consent, was perhaps the biggest success for the Transplant Team of KIMS. But the members still feel the society is yet to mature to pledge organ donation. The awareness has not yet come to a level for harvesting more organs and helping needy patients enduring endless wait.

Speaking on the occasion of the World Organ Donation Day 2022, Associate Professor of Nephrology Dr Nikunj Kishore Rout said: “by organ donation in one go, a person could save at least eight lives, i.e. with two kidneys, two parts of liver, one heart, two lungs and one pancreas. If we consider tissues like cornea, skin and other parts the list would be more. But we need to have family members like the parents of this paediatric patient, who came forward to donate despite the grief.” 

Calling for a change of “mindset” of the kin or people close to the brain-dead patients to come forward for organ donation, the expert said by having the audit of the brain-dead patients, KIMS has started the noble mission with a cause and due coordination with State Organ and Tissue Transplant Organization (SOTTO). 

If more and more in Odisha could get consent from next of kin and the administrative authorities to harvest organs from the road accident victims, who become brain-dead in many cases, then there could be a major turn-around in our transplant programmes. As per record Odisha saw 5,081 deaths last year due to road accidents.

However, the nephrologist added there are logistic and legal hurdles in medico legal cases (MLCs) arising from the accident victims. The administrative and legal issues can be solved when the government and private organizations, along with some NGOs working in these fields, sense the urgency and join hands to save many lives. Especially the issues like delay in transferring the bodies to the next of kin after conducting early post-mortem after organ donation to avoid unnecessary harassment to family. This causes the noble cause to get sidelined and the majority are not coming forward. Still, in corneal donations people are coming forward through pledging their eyes.

“We need to activate a campaign for people to pledge for organ donations. However, once the pledged person becomes brain-dead, it’s the family, which has to take a call,” he explained adding “we can take future citizens like our school students into consideration and include topics like organ donation awareness in their curriculum.” The graduates and colleges can undertake organ pledging activities, they can be provided with certificates.

The World Organ Donation Day is observed every year on August 13 to promote awareness on organ donation and motivate the society. Turning the page of history of organ donation, the first-ever successful living donor transplant took place in the world, way back in 1954 in the USA. 

As for organ donation, harvesting of organs is carried out from brain-dead patients preferably from within the hospital framework. Dr Rout advised a coordinated approach among the hospitals, NGOs and Government agencies so that people will be more encouraged to have their names pledged for the noble act.

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