Organ Transplantation is one of the greatest advancements in the field of medicine. Unfortunately, the organ donor is much less than the required donors needed. According to 2016 census of UNOS in the US approximately 21 people died every day waiting for life-saving transplants.
Who can become an Organ Donor?
There is no particular age to donate organs because all ages can donate and can consider themselves potential donors. If a person wants to donate organs after death, they are evaluated for donor suitability based on their previous medical records and age. The Organ procurement Agency takes into account the suitability of the donors.
The process to Receive an Organ or Tissue
The national Organ Procurement and Transplantation(OPTN) is maintained by UNOS. This UNOS Organ Centre matches organ donors to waiting receipts all days of the year, 24/7 available.
When a certain center receives an organ they send medical and genetic information to UNOS. Then potential recipients list is generated by UNOS, based on the following factors:-
- Blood group
- Size of the organ
- Patients illness
- Medical urgency
- The geographical distance between the recipient and the donor.
First, the organ is offered to the transplant center of the candidate who is the best match. The team at the transplant center decide whether to accept or refuse the organ based on the medical criteria, and other factors include staff availability, patient availability, and organ transportation.
If the transplant center refuses organ-based certain criteria, then the next patient on the list is contacted and continues the process until the organ is successfully placed. First of all, organs are distributed locally, if no match is found, then they are offered regionally and then nationally.
Types of organ transplant
Let’s have a look at various body parts that can be transplanted.
The first heart transplant was carried out in July 1990 at a hospital in Singapore.
If the donor is suffering from brain death or natural death, the heart is used to replace a patient’s damaged or diseased heart.
They are many complexities in this procedure, so they have been strict medical conditions imposed on the donor’s heart for suitable transplant, and noted the requirements of the potential recipient to receive the transplant.
Due to lack of donors, deceased donors heart transplants are performed thrice to six times a year in Singapore.
Lungs are replaced from the recently deceased donor to the patient whose one or both lungs are damaged.
Due to strict medical criteria for organ suitability, only nine lung transplants have been performed in the year 2009.
Healthy liver of the deceased donor is used to replace the diseased liver of the recipient. Livers can be obtained from donors who are deceased or from the family member who chooses to donate part of their liver then liver graft is performed.
The pancreas is transplanted mostly in people with type 1 diabetes whose pancreas is damaged due to diabetes.
A cornea transplant is performed in people who went blind with corneal disease. Healthy, Normal cornea of the donor is replaced surgically with damaged, cloudy cornea during corneal transplantation.
The trachea is also called as windpipe is a cartilaginous tube descending from the larynx to the bronchi and into the lungs.
This trachea transplant can help patients to soften their hardened and narrowed windpipe.
Kidney transplant can be performed in the patient with damaged kidneys whose one or both kidneys are damaged.
Kidneys are transplanted from the living or deceased donor.
Skin transplant has been found to be an effective treatment alternative for patients who suffers from severe burns or injuries, donor skin act as temporary skin or dressing which allows the patient to heal before they own skin grafting is performed.
Skin must be transplanted within 15 hours of a donor’s death, but the skin can be stored for years at a very cold temperature.
Vascular tissues transplant
Tissue transplant can help to relieve symptoms of breathlessness, dizziness and tiredness in patients with severe cardiovascular conditions.
Vascular tissue transplant help in easy blood flow around the body.
Vascular tissues must be recovered within 24 hours of a donors death.