Organ scarcity is increasing across the globe but it affects more people in India. Around 5 lakhs patients in India and around 7000 in the U.S die annually due to the lack of organ donors. But if every person takes the pledge to donate we can save up to 8 lives. World Organ Donation Day, thus, holds immense importance in the life of patients with chronic illnesses.
13th August is a day marked to raise awareness among people about the importance of donating organs. Learn more about this day, the world’s first donor, eligibility for donors, and more.
How World Organ Donation Day Did Come Into Existence?
Ronald Lee Herrick was the first man who had donated his kidney to save the life of Richard J. Herrick, who was suffering from kidney disease. And the doctor who successfully performed the life-saving organ transplant procedure was Dr. Joseph Murray from Boston. Murray received a Nobel Prize for the operation.
This crucial operation increased the life of Richard for 8 more years whereas Ronald died at the age of 79.
World Organ Donor Day: 7 Facts To Know Before You Donate Organs
One of the main causes of organ scarcity is the myths surrounding organ donation such as organs of dead people are not useful. We are bursting such myths with some important facts that will help you understand the importance of this precious live-saving procedure:
- Heart and other organs that help in performing important functioning can stay alive for up to 4-6 hours. The liver has the longest life among them and it is eligible for transplantation within 24 hours of the donor’s death.
- There are 2 types of donor- live donor and cadaver donor ( brain-dead people )
- Donors below 18 cannot decide independently about the donation. They have to take permission either from a parent or guardian.
- There is no age bar but medical conditions can restrict a person from donating organs
- Organs such as skin, heart valves, cornea, and even bone can be donated
- In case of brain death, major organs such as the liver, kidney, heart, and lungs of a dead person become useful for patients with organ failure
- Those with medical conditions such as HIV, cancer, heart or kidney disease are not eligible
World’s Youngest And Oldest Donors
Recently, a toddler from Delhi became the youngest donor who saved the life of 5 patients by donating her corneas, heart, kidney, and liver. Dhanishtha was only 20 months old when she died after falling from a balcony. Her parents took a crucial decision to save other patients life who were in dire need of these vital organs.
However, she is not the youngest ever organ donor. In 2015, a newborn baby saved an adult’s life that was suffering from chronic illness and was in urgent need of a kidney. world’s oldest organ donor is a 95-year old who saved a young woman by giving his kidney.
In India, more than 150,000 people wait for their organ to get removed but lack of availability of donors force them to die. So, let’s take a pledge on this World Organ Donation Day and do a good deed after you leave this world.