Understanding of Organ Donation
Do we ever think about those patients who lay on bed 24 hours days a week in search of Organ ? There are many simpler ways in which patients can be cured, but it gets very difficult when only one way left which is by donating organ. In simpler words, Organ Donation is the removal process of Organ or tissue from one person through surgical process to be transplanted to another person for the purpose of replacing an Organ injured or damaged by disease. It has been 50 years since the first successful Organ transplant.
In the United States, thousands of patients lives extended by about 15 to 20 years due to successful transplantation of heart, kidney, liver and pancreas. Most of the donated Organs or tissues come from dead people but in some cases, a living person can donate organs such as kidneys, heart, liver, lungs and some tissues such as cornea, skin, born, stem cells, platelets as well as blood. Nowadays, Organ donation has become one of the major tool for medical cure since it can save up to thousands of people’s lives, but the number of people who are need in Organ is much higher than number of people donating Organ.
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How it works
The first experimentation with Organ transplantation on animals and humans started in the mid 18th century. Over the years, scientist failed many times, but by mid 20th century, a first successful Organ transplantation was performed. It all started since Jaboulay and Carrel started the techniques to perform vascular anastomoses where they were treating two patients with renal failure by transplanting a good kidney into one and a pig kidney into the other. Both of those transplants failed and both of them died.
The very first successful transplantation was of kidney which was performed in 1954 by Dr. Joseph Murray and Dr. David Hume at Brigham hospital in Boston, while the very first successful transplantation of liver and heart were performed on 1967 and 1968 respectively. In 1988, there were about 16,028 patients on the waiting list and that increased to almost about 275 percent to 43, 937 and it has doubled since then as in 2006, the number climbed up to about 90,000. According to the pattern in history, kidney donor was and is still most needed one today.
Due to so much advancement in technology, many other Organ transplantations are also possible nowadays. Technological advancement in medical field is changing the future of Organ transplants, but financially it is very costly. Scientists have found a way to 3D print models of various anatomical structures, including heart, arteries, brain and born. It is also expected that one day, this process will be in use to create 3D printed soft implants in which living tissues can grow to form organs. Along with that, researches have shown that one day it may become possible to create replacement tissues and organs.
Regularly, transplants teams have less than 8 hours to transport the organ to the operating room, but this problem is also solved with the innovation of a device called “Organ Care System” which can replicate human functions as closely as possible, by keeping the Organs alive outside the body. Organ transplantation can get done somehow, but the cost it takes is what affects people the most. According to United Network for Organ sharing, in United states, the kidney transplantation costs about more than $262,000 per year, liver transplantation costs more than $577,100 The prices for different types of transplantation varies from country to country.
In India, the kidney transplantation costs as low as $5000 while in China, it costs about $70,000 for kidney transplantation and $120,000 for liver transplantation. According to the data, it is expected that the price will increase as the newer technology becomes available. Both developing and developed countries are trying to increase the safety and availability of Organs to their citizens.
Many different laws are made at each country in order to keep black market or illegal trading away. The Indian government had hard time to keep the country away from illegal trading, therefore, the government has amended its organ transplant law to give more harsh punishment while other countries around the world are also implementing legislative reactions. In China, only few hospitals are certified to perform organ transplants in order to prevent illegal transplants.
As far as ethical concerns are discussed, The World Health Organization are against it as they argue that transplantation tourism can violate human rights, cause unintended health consequences which can cause harm at the end. There are also some people who have opposite view arguing that effectively and properly trade in of Organs can be a mutually transaction transaction between two adults and prohibiting is a violation of Articles 3 and 29 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It is argued that those who want to sell their organs should be allowed to do so as preventing them from it is only contributing to their status as impoverished. Those who are in support of the organ trade argues that exploitation is preferable and is considered much better than death and hence organ trade must be legalized.
Over the years, the demand for Organ Transplantation has increased rapidly due to the increased incidence of vital organ failure, the rising success and greater improvement in posttransplant outcome. There are many different ways which can provide practical and effective solutions to this crisis such as 1) implementation of appropriate educational programs for the public and hospital staff regarding regarding the need and benefit of organ donation 2) acceptance of paired organ donation 3) the concept of Presumed consent and etc.
It is expected that all theses approaches with appropriate consideration of the social, ethical and religious criteria of the society, the Organ shortage problem will start to decline and many lives will be saved. If U.S. government applies and “opt out” policy to Organ donation, the number of donors will inevitable increase. According to many researchers, the shortages of Organs should be analyzed separately for living and deceased donors.
According to the criteria by World Health Organization (WHO), there has be some sort of rules must of present in all the countries around the world, so that it becomes self-sufficient over time with respect to its population organ needs. Another major factor which prevents people from donating Organ is their cultural background and general consent of the society to Organ donations. There are many and variable ethical and religious issues related to Organ donation. In mostly all major religions, Organ donation is encouraged in order to save lives.
Although, Organ transplantation may save other people’s lives, but it can cause lots of major health problems to the donor. According to many medical conditions, special medications needs to be taken for life to help stop the body from rejecting the new Organ. This process can have negative effect on the patient as it can make the patient more vulnerable to infections and other medical problems. Some of the complications after Organ transplant include Diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, gout, depression and anxiety, sexual problems, unwanted hair growth, vomiting, etc.
There are many different tips out there for Organ donors on how to take care of themselves after donating an Organ. People with only one kidney can live normal life if they take care of themselves properly. Physical exercise is healthy and good thing for Organ donor, but it is very important for someone with only one kidney to be careful and protect it from injury. According to some doctors, it is best to avoid contact sports like football, cricket, soccer, wrestling, martial arts, hockey, boxing, etc.
Living donation does not change life expectancy and does not appear to increase risk if maintains good health. There is no dietary restriction for donor as long as he or she is in good health. Along with that, women donor can be pregnant, but it is usually not recommended for at least six months after the donation surgery. Other than that, it should not be so much difficult to maintain healthy body after Organ donation.
There is need to focus on these issues and work upon them in order to raise the number of Organ donors. Corruptions in many countries such as India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and many other Asian countries must be stopped to take effective steps to raise the number of donors. Talking from personal point of view, I believe that greater advance in medicine and its practices, the need for Organ will reduce, but people will also need to contribute. In sort, Organ donation is an act of human kindness. So, what are you waiting for ? Why not help someone if you can.