Cochin Cardiac Club

Health Blog by Dr.Uday Nair


Society for Organ Retrieval & Transplantation


Organ transplants are one of the most miraculous achievements of modernmedicine. Transplantation has advanced dramatically over
the past two decades. As a result organs and tissues are transplanted successfully saving life and restoring eye -sight to hundreds of patients. Though transplants are the only treatment to prolong the life of most patients with organ failure, there is a serious shortage of organ donors. For some people this means waiting, sometimes for years, and undergoing difficult and stressful treatment. While a few get the chance of renewed life with successful transplantation majority die each year waiting for a suitable organ. While the number of patients needing organ transplantation continues to rise unabatedly there remains a huge shortage of donors.

Facts you should know : There are two types of organs which can be successfully transplanted.
Life saving organs : Heart, Liver, Kidney, Pancreas and Lung.
Life supporting organs : Eye, Skin and Bone

There are about 50 lakh people in India with corneal blindness. These people can see this beautiful world through corneal transplantation.
Eventhough about 95 lakh people die in India every year only around 20,000 donate eyes. Similarly, there are about 20 lakh patients with end stage organ failure, in our country. Every year another 1,50,000 patients are added to this list. The number of cadaver donors in our country, each year, is a pathetic figure of around 30.

One person can gift life to at least six patients with different organ failures apart from restoring eye - sight to two blind persons.
It is indeed sad that huge number of precious eyes and organs, which can transform the lives of hundreds of unfortunate victims, are simply wasted by burning or burying. Lack of proper awareness is the single major factor for the poor response by the people for this noble cause.

Frequently asked questions:

What is cornea? Cornea is the glass like covering over the pupil of the eye.

Who can be an eye donor? Any one of any age can donate eyes. It does not matter if you wear glasses or have undergone cataract operation or any other eye surgery.

Can eyes be removed at home?

The eyes can be removed at home or any other place where the body is kept, after death.

Will the face be disfigured?

There will be no disfigurement on removal of eyes because the whole eye ball is not removed, but only the cornea.

How is eye donation different from organ donation?

The eyes have to be removed within six hours of death. Organs on the other hand have to be removed preferably before the heart stops in a ‘Brain Dead’ patient.

Who can become an organ donor?

Any healthy person between the age group of one to 70 can donate organs. The deciding factor is the person’s physical condition rather than the age.

What kinds of patients can qualify as organ donors?

Patients who suffer ‘Brain Death’ are the potential donors. ‘Brain Death’ occurs due to primary neurological conditions like head injury, stroke, brain tumor or non- recovery of brain function following
cardiac arrest or prolonged cardio-pulmonaryresuscitation.

What is ‘Brain Death’?

 ‘Brain Death’ is a stage where the brain does not function, there is no spontaneous breathing and the patient is on respiratory support. The heart is beating, blood pressure is maintained and kidneys are working normally. However, with disconnection of the respirator, breathing will stop and death will have to be declared. Anyone sustaining severe head injury
due to road accidents or intracerebral bleeding due to hypertensive or other causes can go into this state.

What should I do to become a donor?

 Fill up the donor registration form and forward it to SORT. You will be provided with a donor card at no cost.

If I become a donor will my wish be fulfilled?

Even if you sign a donor card the organs can be retrieved only with the consent of your family members. It is, therefore, essential that your family knows of your wish to donate the organs after your death.

About the Society:

The Society for Organ Donation & Transplantation (SORT) Cochin is a registered Society functioning under the
patronage of the Indian Medical Association (IMA), Cochin Chapter. The members of SORT include IMA president, judges, doctors,
journalists, social workers & respectable
persons from different walks of life. It is the only registered body in Kerala promoting organ donation and transplantation. The SORT came into being on 20th January, 2000.

Major Objectives :

�� To promote the concept of cadaver organ donation to save precious life.
�� To educate the masses on the noble act of organ donation by organizing awareness programs (audio visuals).
�� To maintain accurate records regarding donors and recipients.
�� To motivate the relatives of the brain dead patients to donate organs.
�� To render all assistance to the donors, recipients and the hospitals in carrying out the retrieval and transplantation process.

The SORT undertakes regular awareness programmes of its own. The SORT is only happy to arrange such programmes on request.

Together let us promise the humanity the ‘Gift of Life’.

Let my sins go to Hell
Let my soul go to Heaven
Let my organs be left on Earth
To save precious Life

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