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CSR: The Priceless Gift of Organ Donation

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Organ donation rates in India are very low and we are struggling with severe shortage of organs for transplantation. Every 10 minutes, a new name is added to the waiting list. More than 30,000 individuals are in need of liver transplants in the country. However, less than 5% of these receive a liver before it is too late, with over 80% receiving a liver from a living related donor. The need for transplant kidneys stands at two lakh annually, of which only around 8,000 manage to receive a transplant, with almost 90% receiving a living donor transplant.
This bleak scenario greets us on World Organ Donation Day today. With developments in science and medical technology, liver transplant has now become a safe treatment option for patients with advanced liver diseases. A lot of myths still dissuade majority of people from liver donation. “The only treatment option for patients with advanced liver disease is a timely liver transplant. It transforms the life of these patients from a dependent to a breadwinner for the family. But unfortunately more than 90% of our population is unaware about organ donation,” says Dr. Anurag Shrimal, Abdominal Organ Transplantation & HPB Surgeon at Wockhardt Hospitals. After donating a part of the liver, donors can continue to lead a healthy and active life. Your donation could save lives.
Take the latest case of a 4-month old infant from Tanzania, the youngest ever recipient in Western India. The baby was suffering from a congenital condition of the liver, ‘Biliary Atresia’ which had blocked the bile flow from the liver causing irreversible damage. The living-donor transplant came from the infant’s father who donated a portion of his healthy liver to his child. The life-saving procedure was conducted under Apollo Hospitals Navi Mumbai’s Liver Transplant program. A portion of the father’s liver was removed and transplanted into the infant. The infant has shown a good recovery without any complications. He was kept under observation in the ICU for two weeks post the surgery and has since been transferred to a patient room. He is scheduled to be discharged in a month. The father made an uneventful recovery.
As the human liver regenerates and returns to its normal size shortly after surgical removal of part of the organ, the father should regain normal size and function in a short time. The baby’s new liver will grow to full size as well, leaving both, father and child with healthy, functioning livers. Such is the miracle called the human body!

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