State missed 20 potential organ donations this year

This is mainly due to reluctance by families and misconceptions

Published - July 14, 2022 09:07 pm IST - Bengaluru

Karnataka has missed 20 potential organ donations this year, so far. This is mainly due to reluctance for consent by families of potential donors and misconceptions surrounding organ donations. 

Lijamol Joseph, Chief Transplant Coordinator at Jeevasarthakathe, the State Organ and Tissue Transplant Organisation (SOTTO), which is the nodal agency that facilitates cadaver organ donations, said while 44 donations were missed in 2019, 43 were missed in 2020 and 32 in 2021. This year, 20 have already been missed in the half year, she said.

In fact, routinely, although SOTTO gets a substantial number of organ pledges, not even 5% of them actually turn into donors.

Elaborating on the reasons for the missed donations, she said: “Sometimes, the identified donor is not fit to donate due to  clinical reasons. Or, someone from the donor family/distant family/friends circle is says no to organ donation and the next of  kin do not have much say in taking a decision against the wish of those opposing it.”

“Also, there are misconceptions. Families refuse consent assuming  organ donation is a long process. But, this is not true. Once the family gives consent, everything will be taken care of by Jeevasarthakathe team along with the donor hospital. The role of grief counsellors is vital here. We accompany the family for the police intimation in case of medico-legal case and we get the post mortem also done. The process is seamless and we ensure there is no delay in handing over the body to the family. Also, the allocation is done without any delay,” she explained.

“It is very rare that some family asks for direct donation - like someone in the donor family would be in need of organ transplant and the family would want the donation for their patient. In such cases, we have to say ‘No’ as the allocation is strictly based on  seniority and clinical urgency,” she said.

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