About Organ Donation
Organ donation is the donation of organs of the human body or biological tissue from a living or dead person to a living recipient in need of a transplantation. Transplantable organs and tissues are removed in a surgical procedure following a determination based on the donor’s medical and social history to know which organs are suitable for transplantation.
Living Donor Transplant
This type of transplant occurs when a living person wishes to donate organs to someone in need. Living donors are usually family members or spouses. All living donors must meet basic medical criteria and undergo a very thorough medical evaluation before being accepted as a suitable donor.
Cadaver/Deceased Donor Transplant
This kind of transplant involves taking organs from a person who has just died. The person’s family must first give consent if organs are to be used for transplantation. This type of transplant requires waiting on a list until a suitable organ is available.
What Can Be Transplanted
Different organs such as heart, liver, kidneys and tissues such as corneas and bone marrow can now be successfully transplanted into patients, who can then expect to survive for years or even decades. It is the treatment of choice for many diseases, but all too often, a suitable organ is not available to meet the ever-increasing demand for transplantation.
Understanding Brain Death
Brain death results from a severe, irreversible injury to the brain. All areas of the brain are damaged and no longer function, due to which a person can not sustain his/her own life. But vital body functions may be maintained by an artificial support system. This maintains circulation to vital organs, long enough to facilitate organ donation.
A cadaver donation occurs when the family of a patient who has been declared brain dead agrees to donate his or her organs (mainly kidneys and liver). Brain death usually results from a severe brain injury which causes all the brain activity to stop. This can happen after a major road accident or a bleed in the brain due to stroke.