Dr Veerabhadra Gupta Shares The Processes Governing Kidney Donation In India

📷 India has been facing a shortage in organ donations for a long time now. About 16 or 18 people die every single day while waiting for an organ transplant of a vital organ such as a heart, kidney or liver. Kidney and corneal transplants are by far the most common kind of transplants needed, but with new drugs and improved medical techniques, there are increasing numbers of bone, heart, liver and lung transplants as well.

1. What are some things to keep in mind before considering being a kidney donor for a patient or relative?

A person can be an organ donor, either by declaring his intentions voluntarily and signing a donor card (as a deceased donor, in case of brain death), or he can donate his/her organs to the family members as a living donor (as per the transplantation of Human Organ Act). For living donations, the person has to undergo medical check-ups and needs to go through legal procedures as well.

2. What is the process to get enlisted as a kidney donor?

There are broadly two types of donation categories you could fall under: The Living Donation Process The living donor needs to undergo some medical tests and evaluation to check and confirm his/her medical compatibility with the recipient. The living donor’s medical compatibility is confirmed by a group of doctors. Only after all the tests have been positively confirmed that the donor is compatible with the recipient, can the transplant take place.

The Deceased Donation Process

A deceased donor is often someone who has suffered a fatal injury to the head or had a brain haemorrhage. They are declared brain stem dead by a group of medical experts in a hospital. The donor’s family has to give consent for the donation before the process of organ retrieval can be carried out. Meanwhile, the donor is kept on life support with doctors looking after all of his/her needs until the retrieval of the organs is allowed to move forward.

3. When do people generally need a kidney transplant?

When a person has chronic kidney disease (end-stage renal disease), stage 5, they usually need renal replacement therapy. The best medical option in such a scenario is renal transplantation.

4. Can you really live a healthy life with just one kidney?

In general, most people with a single, healthy kidney have few problems. However, some long-term problems have been seen in some people. In a few cases where people who were born with a single kidney, or had a kidney removed during childhood, there is a chance of slight loss in kidney function later in life. This usually takes 25 years or more to happen. There may also be a chance of having high blood pressure later in life. However, the loss in kidney function is usually very mild, and the life span is normal. Most people with one kidney live healthy, normal lives with few problems.