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Insurance Article

Organ Donation: Know What Can You Donate

August 13 2016
Organ Donation

Understand the significance and make a difference

Did you know that at least 7 lives can be saved from the donations of a single organ donor?

Organ donation, the practice of removing healthy organs and tissues from a donor and transplanting them to a person in need, can help save numerous lives.

Most organ donations are performed after a person’s death; however, some organs and tissues such as kidneys and a part of the liver can be donated while the donor is still alive.

Who Can Donate Organs?

Every adult can become an organ donor. Even children can become organ donors with consent from their parents. Patients with certain diseases such as cancer, HIV, and some types of infections cannot donate their organs.

What Can You Donate? Different Types of Organ Donations

A living person can donate blood, bone marrow, one kidney, and portions of their liver, lung or pancreas. When the living donor is a family member of the patient receiving the transplant, it is called a live related donation. If it is a friend, relative or neighbour it is known as a live unrelated donation. Donors can donate corneas, skin upto 100 years; kidneys, liver upto 70 years; heart, lungs upto 50 years, and heart valves upto 40 years.

After the donor’s death, it is known as deceased cadaver organ donation in which the recipient-to-be is put on an organ donation list until an appropriate organ from a deceased donor is made available. Almost all organs and tissues can be used from deceased donors – eyes, heart valves, skin and bones to kidneys, livers, lungs, arteries, veins and nerves. However, these need to be removed at the earliest on confirmation of patient being brain dead, while artificial circulation is being maintained.

How Does Organ Donation Help?

According to media reports, in India, 90% patients on the organ donation waiting list die before receiving an organ. Around 1.5 lakh people need a kidney but only 3000 receive them; 25000 liver transplants are required but only around 800 happen.

These numbers highlight the significance of organ donation. Everyone can be a potential organ donor after death. New organs such as the heart, kidneys, liver and pancreas can be the difference between life and death. Donations of eye corneas or middle ear bones could mean the recipients could gain eyesight or hearing. A tissue transplant could mean that the patient could live an almost normal life without pain. Thus, organ transplants can also enrich lives.

How to Become an Organ Donor

You can become an organ donor by registering for organ donation and getting your donor card, which will state your consent for having your organs and tissues donated after your death. According to Indian laws, the family will have the final consent on organ donation after death of the registered donor.

Organ donation does not require the donor or family to bear any cost of donation.

ICICI Lombard understands the importance of organ donation and offers health insurance cover for treatment expenses of the recipient as well as donor expenses for hospitalisation.

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