BENGALURU: The State Organ and Tissue Transplant Organisation of Karnataka had a hard time convincing the parents of Jakkur accident victim A Sanjay Kumar (10) to donate his organs after he was declared brain dead on Friday. The organisation had to dispel their fears, myths and misconceptions over organ donation. Similar worries prevented relatives of at least 10 eligible brain dead patients from donating organs this year.
Bharateesh Reddy, vice-president, BGS Apollo Hospital, said that several people believe that if the brain dead person’s organs are donated, he or she will not attain salvation. Some relatives of such brain dead patients from rural areas say that they will not be allowed to enter their villages if they allow organ donation. Some also believe that if organs are donated that person would be born without those particular organs in the next birth, he said.
Dr Rajkumar Wadhwa, head of organ transplant centre, BGS Apollo Hospital, said, “Besides religious beliefs, lack of awareness, lack of faith in the healthcare system and fear of disfigurement are the other reasons for low organ donation even among live donors.”
First-degree donors, who are within the family, including father, mother, brother, sister or spouses, can donate organs, including liver and kidney. Even second-degree donors, who are emotionally linked to a patient including friends and far relatives can donate. In at least four cases, though there was a match, family members refused to donate organs this year. This is because of the fear of surgery, complications later, scars and disfigurement, said an organ coordinator at a private hospital.
Families of 43 brain dead people denied permission for organ donation in 2020 and it was 32 in 2021. In the state, 5,309 patients are waiting for organs. But since 2007, families of only 649 brain dead persons have donated organs. This year, 48 have donated 245 organs and tissues.
SANJAY’S ORGANS SAVE FIVE LIVES
Organs of the Jakkur accident victim, A Sanjay Kumar (10), which were donated by his parents after he was declared brain dead on Friday have saved five lives. His one kidney each was donated to St John’s Hospital and Command Hospital. Valves which can be transplanted to two children were given to Jayadeva Institute of Cardiology. His liver was transplanted to a 58-year-old male.