Organ donation and how it saves lives

8 min


One of the most challenging fields of medicine is organ donation and transplantation. Organ donation a life-saving act. A single donor can save up to 50 lives. In India, almost 50,000 people die owing to the non-availability of organ donors. The sad reality is that there is a scarcity of organ donors in India.


Firstly, there is a huge crisis for organs in many countries. The need for organs is more compared to the number of people who donate organs. Further, organ failure is a major cause of death in many people.
The national organ donation day in India is November 30th. Therefore, the main goal of this article is to highlight the awareness of organ donation and the process of registering to become an organ donor. Further, we have tried to highlight the benefits of organ donation to the society.


Organ donation is a procedure where organs are surgically removed from the donor and transferred to the recipient. In simple words, we transfer organs surgically from one person to another person. The donor is the person who donated the organs. The recipient is the person who receives the organs.


Transplantation is done to replace damaged or injured organs. Organ transplantation plays a very important role. In case of delay in the process of organ transplant, organ failure results. Also, there are certain time periods for every organ. In India, kidney transplantation was the first organ transplant.

Moreover, after 10 years, there was a phenomenal increase in kidney transplantation. Subsequently, other organ transplants like liver, bone marrow, skin took place. Further, the advances include corneal transplants and heart valve transplants in recent days.


  • Liver (most common organ for transplant)
  • Pancreas
  • Kidney (most common)
  • Bone marrow
  • Heart
  • Eye donation (after death)
  • Corneal transplant (eyes)
  • Intestine
  • Skin
  • Middle ear
  • Hair
  • Uterus
  • Connective tissue (such as muscles, blood vessels, and different grafts.)
  • Bones etc.


AUTOGRAFTThe tissues or organs from one part of the body is transplanted to other parts of the body.
This type of graft referred to as autograft.
And also, autotransplant refers to the type of transplant.
For instance, the PRF (Platelet-rich fibrin) was taken from the same individual’s blood sample and used as plasma for the same individual.
And also, skin grafts come under autograft.
ALLOGRAFTAllograft is the transplant of organs or tissues between two genetically non-identical individuals of the same species.
For example, most human organ transplantations are allotransplantation.
XENOGRAFTA procedure in which organs is transplanted from one species to another species is xenograft. For example, heart valves are taken from animals (porcine heart valves) transplanted in humans. This type referred to as xenotransplantation (Xeno means animals).


The organ donors have been classified into two categories:


When a living person is willing to donate organs for transplantation, referred to as a living donation. For example, kidney donation comes under this category. They can maintain the functions with one kidney and part of the liver donation, a part of pancreas donation comes under this category. Moreover, the donor should be healthy enough to maintain the functions with one organ. The donors can be family members, relatives, friends, in-laws, etc.

Living donation has many benefits as well. If the donors are family members, there won’t be any kind of rejection Moreover; the genetic match would be perfect. Therefore, Living donation is lifesaving and can reduce the time for the patients on dialysis. Hence, a healthy donor is very important and there are certain criteria for the donors.


This type of organ donation performed once the person is dead. The person would have been willing to donate the organs after his/ her death. There are certain legal amendments by the government of India (according to the transplantation of human organs or tissues act).
In this type, the patient should have registered with the consent form in respected hospitals that performs organ transplantation. And also, the family members can take decisions regarding organ donation.

There are two kinds in this category:
  • In case of brain death, the other vital organs of the body are donated. If the family members are willing and the procedure is performed with their consent.
  • In cases of death due to cardiac reasons or the poor functions of the heart, the other vital organs can be donated.


  • There are no age limits to become an organ donor.
  • The most important thing is the organs should be in a healthy condition. The individual should be healthy, with no diseases like HIV, hepatitis, blood disorders, etc.
  • The hemoglobin level of the donor should be normal. In case of reduced hemoglobin level, it’s a risk for the donor during surgeries.
  • The donor should not have a previous history of surgeries.


  • National Organ and Tissue Transplant Organization(NOTTO)
  • Regional Organ and Tissue Transplant Organization (ROTTO)
  • State Organ and Tissue Transplant Organization (SOTTO) and Non-Governmental organizations (NGO)
  • These are other organizations also available for organ donations. People who are willing to become a donor can register online in the website of any of the above-mentioned organizations.


Organ donation is a voluntary process. The consent form to become an organ donor is available online on any of the above-mentioned websites. And also, by direct approach to the organization, we can register to become a donor.
This form will be circulated among the hospitals at the time of organ donation. Then, a donor card will be given.
In case of deceased donation, legal forms are available. Hence, after the consent of the patient, this type of donation is proceeded.

The Government of India promulgated the Transplantation of human organ and tissues act in 1994, in order to promote the scope of organ donation and also to increase cadaver organ donation. There are legal rules and regulations for deceased organ donations. There are certain amendments to be followed by the government of India for deceased organ donation. Therefore, it’s mandatory to follow the amendments for this type of organ donation.



Blindness is referred to the inability to see or problems in vision. There are many causes for blindness as well. One of the most common public health issues is blindness. The best donation a person can donate is eye donation, by giving a new vision to someone who could not see is the best thing in life. The main categories of under-eye donation are:


Corneal blindness one of the most common causes of blindness. Cornea a clear tissue that covers the eyes. And also, responsible for 60% of the vision. According to a recent survey almost, 4.2 billion cases of blindness is due to corneal blindness. This comes under the category of deceased donation.
The cornea of the eyes is transplanted. After 2-3 days of the removal of the eyes, the cornea can be transplanted. The pledge form is available for eye donations.


Most importantly, transplantation of cornea occurs in eye donation. After the death of the person, an eye bank preserves the eyes. The first eye bank started in 1945 in Chennai at the regional institute of ophthalmology. The eyes can be removed after 4-6 hours of death. The eye removal takes 10- 15 minutes. The eye bank stores the eyes. Hence, the donor family will receive a certificate as a token of appreciation from the eye bank.


• There are no such age limits for eye donation. And also, any gender can donate their eyes.
• Moreover, a person should not have undergone any kind of refractive surgery in the eyes. And also, they should not be using spectacles.


In India, almost 175,000 patients need kidney transplants. Kidney transplants performed in cases of severe renal diseases and irreversible damages to the kidney. This type of donation comes under the category of living donation. Kidney transplantation the first organ transplant performed in India during 1970. After 10 years, there was a phenomenal increase in kidney transplantation. Almost, 92% of kidney transplant cases are living donors.


In India, almost 40,000 patients need a heart transplant. In severely damaged heart valve cases, transplants of heart valves performed. The recent advances include porcine heart valves. These valves include xenograft types of valves transplanted in damaged valvular cases.


The recent advances in organ donation include bone marrow transplantation, Thalassemic transplants (using stem cells as a treatment for thalassemia), bone transplants, and banking, and heart valve banking.


The Bollywood legendary actor, Amitabh Bachchan has pledged to donate his eyes. Popular actress, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan also shares the same thoughts similar to her father-in-law regarding organ donation.

Actress Priyanka Chopra learned many things about organ donation after her father’s death due to cancer and has decided to donate all her organs. Further, she has participated in many organ donation awareness programs.

Actor Amir Khan and his wife Kiran Rao have pledged to donate their organs. Actor Salman Khan has pledged to donate his bone marrow. He saw several patients suffering from bone marrow cancer, and so the actor pledged to donate. Not only on screens, but they are also heroes in their real-life too.


Improves the socio-economic status and also makes the individual a more responsible citizen.

The recipient’s family has more benefits. This will be the most precious thing, to save a life. Moreover, even after death, the donor will be living in someone’s life.


To sum up, organ donation the most precious thing ever. Hence, donate an organ and become a hero. Even after a person’s death, they would be living. This is the most valuable donation ever. saving someone’s life is the greatest joy than anything in this world

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Dr Shalini S.G
I am a dental surgeon. I love travelling and listening to music and a passionate person in research and doing lots of presentation. My area of interest is pathology, diagnosis and forensics.