India sees 27% growth in organ transplant, needs more donation

World Organ Donation Day: India loses around 2 lakh kidneys and other vital organs annually, underscoring the need for collective efforts to increase cadaver donations

Organ Donation

New Delhi: India has witnessed a remarkable 27% surge in organ transplant, which, according to experts, needs more to be done in view of critical demand for organ replacement in the country. As of now, around 50,000 individuals are awaiting transplants for treatment.

Citing the National Organ and Tissue Transplant Organisation (NOTTO) data, experts say that the country has recorded around 15,000 organ transplants in 2022 and thereby underlined the significance of boosting organ donations to save more lives. “Despite the progress, India’s organ donation rate stands at approximately 0.52/million populations, emphasising the need for further efforts to bridge the gap between demand and supply,” said a medical expert.

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“Increasing organ donation rates remains vital to meet the demand and enhance patients’ quality of life. With successful 350 liver transplants and 890 kidney transplants, Jaypee Hospital continues to make a significant impact in saving lives,” said Manoj Luthra, chief executive officer and director, Jaypee Hospital, at a media conference on Saturday on the even of the World Organ Donation Day.

The World Organ Donation Day is observed every year on August 13 to encourage people to become an organ donor and to clear up misconceptions about organ donation.

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“India loses around 2 lakh kidneys and other vital organs annually, underscoring the need for collective efforts to increase cadaver donations. If we properly harvest even 5-10% of all brain deaths for organ donation, it could render the need for living donors obsolete,” according to LK Jha, director and senior consultant-nephrology and kidney transplant at Dharamshila Narayana Superspeciality Hospital, Delhi.

Among the 15,000 transplants performed in 2022, kidney transplants accounted for a lion’s share of 11,423 procedures. This number pales in comparison to an estimated 200,000 cases of renal failure each year.

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Echoing similar views, Amit K Devra, director and coordinator, kidney transplant programme, department of urology and kidney transplant, Jaypee Hospital, said that kidney transplantation, a life-saving procedure, can be facilitated through living or cadaver donors.

“Living donors, typically family members or extended family members, voluntarily donate one of their kidneys. Cadaver organ donors are deceased individuals with brain dead whose organs are donated for transplantation after meeting certain criteria. Both types of kidney donation offer hope to patients with end-stage renal disease, providing an opportunity for improved quality of life and enhanced longevity,” he noted.

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On liver transplants, KR Vasudevan, director, department of liver transplant, Jaypee Hospital, said it offers hope to end-stage liver disease patients, providing a second chance at life. Rigorous evaluation ensures safety and compatibility. “The liver’s exceptional regenerative capacity allows it to restore its original size after donation, making living donor transplants a remarkable advancement in saving lives,” he added.

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