Every year, the world observes a special day- World Organ Donation Day. This day is celebrated to raise awareness to spread the importance of donating organs and motivate them to do so after their death.
Of course, donating an organ is really highly valued. It is like a gift for the ones fighting for their life on the deathbed. And, it is to bring to the notice that one single donor of an organ can save up to 8 lives!
Organ Donation signifies retrieving a donor’s organ- heart, liver, kidney, intestines, pancreas, and lungs- after the donor has deceased. Then, this is transplanted into the body of another person who is in need to live a happy and healthy life.
As per the recent reports, about 5000 kidneys, 1000 livers, and 50 hearts have been transplanted. The ratio of organ donation is rising gradually but it is still poor compared to other countries. It is observed and concluded that if 1 per million donation rate, then the country can meet the demands for the organs without any hassle.
Who Can Be An Organ Donor?
Everyone and anyone can be an organ donor- irrespective of age, religion, caste, race, and health. After all, no individual is too young or too old to be a deceased donor. Even the newly born infants and the senior citizens in their 90s have the potential to be organ donors. This is because the health of the organ is considered rather than the characteristics or aspects of donors.
A person with the illness can donate their organs too and determine if their certain organs and tissues are suitable for donation. It is the doctors who determine and examine whether the organs are perfect for donation or not. However, there can be some illnesses that prevent donation such as active cancer or systemic infection.
COVID-19 And Impact Of Organ Donation
With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, transplant surgeries and organ donations are on a halt. The coronavirus has badly affected patients who are in need of transplants. As organ transplantation was paused during the lockdown in order to control the spreading of COVID-19.
Patients who have ailments in organs like kidneys, liver, heart, or lungs are more worried about the COVID-19 taking a toll on their health. All such patients are at jeopardy to fall a victim to COVID-19 but cannot go ahead with the organ transplant program or even be a donor (risking others lives).
Are Tissue And Organ Transplant Patients At Higher Risk Of COVID-19?
Global Alliance for Eye Banking (GAEB) considers the point that there is no evidence of SARS-CoV-2 to be spread via blood transfusions or even tissue implants. Even though there are no reports of the spread of the virus to date, we know one thing that it has a higher stimulus on the kidneys of the patients. And, about 30% of patients seem to replicate it. And, considering the cornea transplant, there is no risk for the recipients as they do not need to have a blood match or any oral medication continuation so that the body gets accustomed to the organs.
Of course, any organ transplant asks the recipient to have an oral medication as an immunosuppressant for about 3 months and then lower the dose for the lifetime. And, doing so amidst the COVID-19 situation can be a lot risky for the recipient. Leading the patient to fall victim to pneumonia or any other immune system failure-related diseases.
The Indian Society of Organ Transplant says that it is best to delay the organ or at least specifically kidney transplant during the coronavirus period. And, the lying liver donor transplant may be addressed in people with life-threatening liver failure illness.