Organ Donation involves the process of removing tissues or organs from a living or dead person to be transplanted to someone suffering from end-stage organ failure.
Types of Organ Donation:
Living Donation: A person can choose to donate certain organs and tissue when he/she is alive. One Kidney and a part of the Liver are the most commonly donated organs by living donors. Most living donors are close relatives of the recipient. Distant relatives or friends wishing to donate, would require approval from the State Authorization Committee to do so.
Donation after Circulatory Death: This is a type of deceased organ donation that happens after cardiac arrest (also known as natural death). While organ donation after cardiac death is common in the West, in India only tissues can be donated. Corneas (eyes) and skin are tissues that could retrieved at the residence of deceased and stored in banks. Other tissues like bones, heart valves, nerves, etc. could be retrieved only in a clinical setting
Donation after Brain Death: This is a type of deceased organ donation that happens after a person is declared brain dead. A person is considered brain dead when there is irreversible loss of consciousness and capacity to breathe on own and absence of brain stem reflexes following a traumatic injury to the brain. Hemorrhage, brain tumor, stroke or clot may also cause brain death. In India the most common cause of brain death is road traffic accidents. Brain death should not be confused with coma (vegetative state), where the brain activity is intact, and recovery is possible.
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The Transplantation of Human Organs Act (1994) recognizes brain death as death.
A brain-dead person could potentially save the lives of up to 9 people through organ donation and enhance the lives of many others through tissue donation.