Organ shortage continues to cost lives - GPSgyan

Around 3 LAKH patients in the country are waiting for organ donations. However, the number of people who are willing to donate organs has not grown as fast as the need. Experts are saying that the country really needs more people to donate their organs after they pass away. It's important for ICU doctors and families to know that one person who has passed away can actually help save multiple lives through organ donation;

Organ shortage continues to cost lives

What is organ donation 

Organ donation means giving an organ or tissue from one person to another through surgery. This helps someone who has a sick organ or tissue that doesn't work properly. It's like replacing a part in a machine. People of any age can give their organs, but it's their choice and nobody can force them.

Some reasons why people might not want to give their organs are not knowing how it works, not having enough information, being scared of surgery, or not being able to read. These things can stop them from helping others. Sometimes, people have wrong ideas about organ donation that make them worried. We need to make sure people know the facts about organ donation so they can decide better.

Necessity of Organ Donation in the Society:

"Why Donating Organs Helps People When we give away our kidney, eyes, liver, heart, skin tissues, small intestines, or lungs to others who need them, it's a kind act. Even after we pass away, our organs can keep someone alive. We should promise to donate our organs after we're gone, and we can also join campaigns to tell others how important this is.

Every year on August 13, we celebrate World Organ Donation Day. People all around the world do things to help everyone understand why giving organs is so good. Doctors and health experts even have online classes to teach people about being healthy. Writing essays about organ donation is a great way to teach kids about this important idea."

Organ shortage continues to cost lives

Current Statistics: 

  • In India, there are more than 300,000 patients who are waiting to receive organs through transplants. Sadly, at least 20 people lose their lives each day while waiting for an organ. The number of people who have given their organs (including those who have passed away) went from about 6,900 in 2014 to around 16,000 in 2022.
  • Right now, in India, only about 1 out of every 1 million people who have passed away donate their organs. But to meet the need for organs, this number should be much higher, around 65 out of every 1 million people. Countries like Spain and the U.S. have better systems for organ donation and they have 30 to 50 out of every 1 million people donating organs.

Reasons for fewer organ donors? 

  • Lack of awareness: A lot of people in India don't know how important it is to give away their organs to help others. Even if they know, most of the time it's only about giving a part of their body while they're alive (like giving a kidney). In India, around 85% of all donors are living donors.

  • Religious and Cultural beliefs: Certain religious beliefs discourage the giving of organs after death. These beliefs think that the body should remain complete for proper funeral rituals, which might stop people from donating their organs.

  • Fear of exploitation: Some people worry that when they donate their organs after they pass away, it might end up being taken advantage of in a bad way.

  • Lack of trust in the medical system: Some individuals don't have confidence in the healthcare system. They worry that their body parts might not be used for their intended medical reasons and could be illegally sold on secret markets.

  • Lack of infrastructure: Organ donation in India isn't as advanced as in other nations. Just 250 hospitals have joined India's National Organ and Tissue Transplant Organization (NOTTO), which manages the country's organ transplant efforts.

  • Lack of incentives for doctors: For instance, doctors are hesitant to ask the family of someone who has passed away if they would like to donate their organs. This is because there is a worry that making this request might lead to angry or violent reactions.

Way Forward: 

  • We want to train doctors who work with trauma and ICU patients to help the families of these patients consider donating organs. Many times, there aren't enough people willing to donate their organs while they're alive, so we rely on organs from people who have passed away. This can help meet the need for organs, but in India, we need to turn promises of organ donation into actual donations. To do this, we need to educate medical staff and run awareness campaigns like we do for blood donation.
  • Hospitals should have clear plans (Standard Operating Procedures) for organ donation and places where families can talk to counselors about this. These hospitals need to be able to explain to families what brain death is and why organ donation is important. We also need to have more hospitals registered with the National Organ and Tissue Transplant Organization.


/Nut Graf (nutshell paragraph): India doesn't have enough people who donate their organs to help others. Even though more people are donating organs now, it's still not sufficient to match the need for organs. There are several reasons for this shortage, like not knowing much about it, religious and cultural ideas, worrying about being taken advantage of, and not fully trusting the medical system.

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