Questions and Answers About Organ Donation: What Should You Know?

Organ transplants save thousands of lives every year, but organ donations are still a subject of debate for people. Let’s take a closer look at organ donation.


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Two categories

Organ donation is divided into two categories: lifetime and postmortem. In the US there is a unified medical registry that lists each patient's consent or refusal to be a postmortem organ donor. To declare that you want to donate your organs after your death, you can fill in a form on the website OrganDonor.gov, or when getting or renewing a driver's license. If there is no information in the registry, the decision will be made by the next of kin of the deceased.

People sometimes donate organs while living — the most common is kidney donations, as most people are born with two kidneys and only need one to survive. Kidneys are often donated from a healthy family member to another family member who is suffering from kidney failure of one or both kidneys.

Only paired organs such as the kidney and liver diseases can be transplanted from living donors to recipients because they can regenerate after being partially removed.

What organs can be transplanted?

Heart replacement surgery has become very common in recent years. Until recently, pancreas and intestine transplants were rare, but today pancreas and intestine transplants are performed more commonly. In 2016, a uterus transplant was successfully performed for the first time. Uterus transplants remain rare.

Doctors have learned to transplant more than just organs — tendons, skin, heart valves, nerves and veins have been transplanted as well. Corneas are also being transplanted, and research is being done to explore the possibility of retina transplants.

According to the latest data from the World Health Organization, an average of 15 transplants are performed every hour worldwide.

Transplanting intestinal bacteria has also been tried. In a number of diseases, the patient's intestines become unable to independently regulate the balance of bacteria necessary for normal functioning, and transplantation of bacteria from a healthy person to a sick person is very effective as the new flora takes root and subsequently works normally.

he transplantation process, in this case, is, of course, non-surgical: the recipient has microflora injected in the form of a homogenized suspension or in the filtrate of donor fecal solution directly into the colon with a colonoscope, or into the rectum with an enema.

22 October 2021

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