‘Through transplantation of organs many lives can be saved’

A brain dead person can renew life of a maximum of eight persons suffering from chronic disease relating to heart, lungs, kidneys, liver, eyes and intestines, among others. There are three to four cases of brain dead persons in the city every month and each one’s organs can be retrieved and transplanted to the needy patients.

“But donation of organs has not taken off in a big way. If transplantation of organs of a deceased donor, earlier called cadaver donor, picks up many lives could be saved”, lamented a noted nephrologist and past president of the Indian Society of Nephrology T. Ravi Raju. People should feel that they are doing it for a noble cause, he said.

Awareness must be created among the people about the need to donate organs and save lives. There are many reasons like sentiments of the deceased’s family, lack of awareness, for the thought of donating one’s organs after his or her death not going well with the people.

In the US half of the organ donation is by deceased donors, 80 to 90 per cent in Europe and 100 per cent in Japan. In India it is not in big numbers and retrieval and transplantation which commenced in Hyderabad five or six years ago is recording only a few every year.

Body of a brain dead person will not be disfigured due to removal of organs. The head, face limbs and hands would not be touched and only an incision would be made on the viscera

Realising the need to promote cadaver organ transplantation and to eliminate the illegal practices being resorted to, the Central Government enacted the Transplantation of Human Organs Act (THOA) in 1994 and framed rule for it in 1995. Some States adopted the Act and framed its rules. Incidentally Southern States have adopted the Act while not many in other parts of the country have done so.

The organ harvesting centres that retrieve and distribute the organs have to get approval from the Government.


Dr. Ravi Raju, during his tenure as the Director of Medical Education of AP, streamlined the procedure of organ retrieval and allotment. The Jeevandan programme was introduced in the State for the purpose. Some hospitals have been permitted to do cadaver transplantation in the State, which included Apollo, Care and Seven Hills in the city and eight in Hyderabad.

All centres have to inform their activity of retrieval to the central office located at NIMS, Hyderabad which has a list of donors waiting for organs and make allotment based on the matching of blood groups of the deceased donor and recipient, which is the primary requirement, tissue compatibility, and other requirements and the need of the recipient.

Since creating awareness among the people about organ donation was an important aspect the Gandhi Medical College has been entrusted with the responsibility of providing training to the personnel while the Transplant Coordinators of the permitted centres are trained at Osmania Medial College.

Keywords: organ donation

More In: Visakhapatnam