Friday 27 May 2022
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Heart transplants show an increase in India

According to the data provided by the National Organ and Tissue Transplantation Organisation(NOTTO),the national coordinating agency for cadaveric organ donation, about 300 heart transplantations took place across India in two years

New Delhi: There has been a ten-fold increase in heart transplantations in India since 2016, thanks to improved coordination between donation, retrieval and transplantation.

According to the data provided by the National Organ and Tissue Transplantation Organisation(NOTTO), the national coordinating agency for cadaveric organ donation, about 300 heart transplantations took place across India in last two years. What is encouraging is that even Tier 2 cities have emerged as transplantation hubs.

A heart transplant surgery is a highly sensitive procedure during which heart with damaged heart muscles, artery or valve is replaced with a fully functional and a healthy heart retrieved from a recently deceased individual.

The process of recovering organs is called harvesting. This organ is transplanted into the recipient who needs that organ. There are 2 types of organ donation: Live Donation and Deceased or Cadaver Donation.

The president of an NGO called Heart Care Foundation of India Dr KK Aggarwal has been actively campaigning for creating awareness by demystifying myths surrounding heart transplant. Dr Aggrawal said, “Most organs retrieved after death remains alive for hours before they are transplanted in next person. Once blood is taken from a person it can be stored for months before being given to next person.”

“The story of dancer Claire Sylvia who after receiving heart and lung transplant developed the traits of the donor (change in sexual preferences from male to female, change in the liking of color from red to green and blue, new acquiring taste for and beer) talks about the concept cellular memory and that memory and consciousness can remain alive and even transfer to other persons during transplantation. However, this may not happen in everyone,” he added.

Dr Aggarwalsaid, “Although the indicate that there has been an increase in the number of heart transplants, there is a need to raise further awareness. People need to be sensitized to the fact that they can live even after death through organ donation. There is also a need to remove myths and misconceptions about organ donation and spread the message around.”

Heart Care Foundation of India demystifies some myths

  • Age is not a barrier to organ donation. Even people above the age of 80 have become organ and tissue donors.
  • There is no requirement to be in perfect health for donation. Even those who smoke, drink or don’t have a healthy diet can donate.
  • Organ and tissue donation do not disfigure the body in any way.
  • In case of an accident, the doctor will always try to save the life of the first. Organ donation is considered as an option only when the person dies due to certain circumstances.

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