World Organ Donation Day is an annual event held on August 13 that aims to raise awareness about organ donation and to motivate normal human beings to donate organs. On World Organ Donation Day, people can pledge to become a donor, sign up to donate, or learn more about donation options. In addition, World Organ Donor Day encourages hospitals and other organ procurement organizations to increase the number of donors available for transplant. This day is a great opportunity to celebrate the gift of life and help others in need.

Organ Donation is allowing a donor to donate organs after or sometimes even before death, for transplantation, to those in need. Organs, as well as tissues, can be donated for transplantation. Organs, that have been successfully transplanted till now are heart, kidneys, liver, lungs, pancreas, intestine and thymus. Most commonly transplanted organs are kidneys, liver and heart.

Organ transplantation is a procedure where organs are removed from one person after (or before) death and placed in another body that is of a recipient. Organ donor and the recipient may be in the same location and if in another location then organs need to be transported to recipients’ location.

Organ transplants are the sole treatment option for end-stage organ failure that affects many people. Patients frequently waste away their lives in agony while waiting for transplants that would give their life a purpose.

Every year many patients are dying due to unavailability of organs and this scarcity is due to lack of awareness on these organ donations. The scarcity of organs and common misunderstandings rather misconceptions about organ donation prevent millions of families from doing so, results in the loss of many of these people’s lives. Therefore, it is essential to educate the public about the security of organ donation.

An organ donor must have good physical and mental health along with a body mass index (BMI) of less than 35. At the same s/he must be free from uncontrolled high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, hepatitis, specific organ diseases, or any other infectious diseases.

To be a donor there is no defined age, however the decision is based on strict medical conditions. Anyone younger than age 18 needs to have the agreement of a parent or guardian to be a donor. Cancer, HIV, diabetes, kidney disease, or heart disease patients cannot donate organs as live donors. In the case of brain-dead patients, transplantation of human organs is done as per the procedure. Apart from the procedures laid down in the act, consent from the family, coroner and legal authorities are essentially obtained before initiating the process.

In 1954, Ronald Lee Herrick gave his identical twin brother a kidney in the first-ever organ donation. The treatment was carried out by Dr Joseph Murray, who also received the 1990 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his contributions to the field of organ transplantation.

When a new born baby donated his kidneys to an adult suffering from renal insufficiency in 2015, he broke the record for the youngest organ donor ever. The boy was only alive for 100 minutes after his birth.

The oldest donor is a 107-year-old woman from Scotland who gave her cornea after passing away in 2016. A 95-year-old West Virginian man who gave his liver after passing away is the oldest known organ donor for an internal organ.

World Organ Donation Day is celebrated every year on 13 August. This day aims to help people who need an organ to be saved from death. Hence, it is always good to know your options when making a decision about being an organ donor. Due to the shortage of organs in some countries and the number of deaths every year due to not having one, everyone must make sure that they are registered as donors if they have the option.



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