Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Nov 25:
If more number of people came forward to donate organs to ensure that people with sick organs could live longer, the problem could be effectively tackled, doctors said at an awareness campaign on organ donation here on Tuesday.
Organ or tissue donation, with growing awareness, has become a gracious act as the donors are able to leave a miraculous legacy, said Dr Manoj Sahu, head of the department of gastroenterology at the Institute of Medical Sciences and Sum Hospital in Bhubaneswar.
Quoting available statistics, he said one lakh deaths occurred in India every year due to organ failure. On the other hand, 9.5 million people died every year due to various reasons of whom one lakh were believed to be those who could have been potential donors.
However, less than 200 of them actually donate their organs which meant the organs in the rest more than 99,000 bodies were lost, he said adding organs harvested from such bodies could take care of the long waitlist of end stage organ failure patients. Organ donation after death was a simple act which did not hurt anyone but benefitted many.
The program was organized by the Centre for Health Awareness (CHA) of the SOA University at Ekamra Haat in the city.
“People of all ages could become donors and can donate a part of their liver or a kidney during their life time. The other organs are taken out from a donor after death but must be transplanted within a stipulated time,” Dr Sahu said.
Besides eyes and kidney, organs like heart, lungs, liver and pancreas and tissues like skin, bone, cartilage, veins, arteries and heart valves were also transplanted successfully, he said adding to make these transplants legal and possible, the government had passed the Transplantation of Human Organs Act in 1994, he said.
The concept of setting up Skin Banks had been taking root in India as well as skin harvested from a dead person immediately after death could be used to reduce morbidity and mortality of burn patients, Dr Jayanta Kumar Dash, head of the department of Burns, Plastic and Cosmetic Surgery at IMS and Sum Hospital, said.
Skin being the protective barrier, the body became vulnerable to infection resulting in septicemia which led to death. Every year, 60 to 70 lakh people in India suffered burn injuries of whom around two lakh succumbed. Skin taken from another body and preserved could greatly help in the recovery of the burn patient, he said.
TN Panda, an eminent activist campaigning for organ donation, said the joy of living was in the joy of giving. “Organ donation does not cause any inconvenience or loss to the family members,” he said.
Prof DK Ray, Medical Director of IMS and Sum Hospital, its Medical Superintendent, Dr PK Mohanty and Prabhati Tripathy, Convenor of CHA and Dean of Sum Nursing College also attended the program.
Dr Mohanty said the problem besetting the organ donation scenario encompassed religious beliefs, fear, ignorance, misunderstanding and legal aspects. Media reports about scandals involving organ rackets was also a dampner.
There was an urgent need for increased public awareness regarding organ donation and greater effort is required to dispel public concerns regarding the same, he said.