Myths and misconceptions about organ donation in India should be removed
New Delhi, 11th May 2018: There has been a ten-fold increase in heart transplantations in India since 2016, thanks to improved coordination between donation, retrieval and transplantation, as per recent estimates. About 300 heart transplantations took place across India in two years, as per data provided by the National Organ and Tissue Transplantation Organization (NOTTO), the national coordinating agency for cadaveric organ donation. What is encouraging is that even Tier 2 cities have emerged as transplantation hubs.
A heart transplant surgery is a highly sensitive procedure during which heart with damaged heart muscles, artery or valve is replaced with a fully functional and a healthy heart retrieved from a recently deceased individual.
Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee, Dr K K Aggarwal, President, HCFI, said, “Most organs retrieved after brain death remains alive for hours before they are transplanted in next person. Once blood is taken from a person it can be stored for months before being given to next person. The story of dancer Claire Sylvia who after receiving heart and lung transplant developed the traits of the donor (change in sexual preferences from male to female, change in the liking of color from red to green and blue, new acquiring taste for chicken and beer) talks about the concept cellular memory and that memory and consciousness can remain alive and even transfer to other persons during transplantation. However, this may not happen in everyone.”
The process of recovering organs is called harvesting. This organ is transplanted into the recipient who needs that organ. There are two types of organ donation: Live Donation and Deceased or Cadaver Donation.
Adding further, Dr Aggarwal, who is also the Group Editor of IJCP, said, “Although the statistics indicate that there has been an increase in the number of heart transplants, there is a need to raise further awareness. People need to be sensitized on the fact that they can live even after death through organ donation. There is also a need to remove myths and misconceptions about organ donation and spread the message around.”
HCFI demystifies some myths
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