Tissue donation and transplantation is one of the important branches of clinical surgery that involves the harvesting of tissue and organs from a donor to give a chance of a new life to a recipient.
A potential recipient is an individual who has suffered damage to a vital organ in the body. The chances of staying alive for such a person is dependent on a tissue or organ transplant.
Tissues and organs that are being harvested for the sole purpose of saving people’s lives and giving back hope include the kidneys, liver, pancreas, liver, cornea, lungs, intestine, bone marrow, bone, and so many others. In the United States alone, over one hundred thousand people are awaiting organ transplantation.
The most notable aspect of tissue and organ transplantation is the cost. Even when individuals have the resources to afford a transplant, the matching tissue or organ may not be readily available. Before a transplant is done, certain factors must be put into consideration:
Because the number of people needing organ replacement is increasing daily, it is difficult for individuals to get organs that will match their body system. It’s not enough for people to request for a tissue or organ. That part is simple. The hard part is getting a donor that will be a perfect match for to recipient. Transplanting an organ or tissue that isn’t the right match is a waste of time and resources as it may lead to mortality.
There are three ways tissues and organs can be extracted: cadaveric, dead or living extraction.
For the cadaveric extraction, medical experts statistically obtain the organs of a person some minutes after the person has been confirmed dead. As such, if a donor dies and the expert extractors are not there to carry out the surgical harvesting of those organs, then the organs will be useless subsequently.
In the case of a deceased donor, a series of tests need to be carried out to ascertain the cause of death, especially if the individual consented to have their organs extracted. So, the medical history of sick persons must be examined to see if the organs can be useful.
For the living donor, there are so many health challenges that are attached to having a tissue or an organ harvested from the body. For instance, a person who has consented to have an organ donated to save the life of someone can also suffer post-transplant disease. One of such diseases is End-Stage Renal Disease. Because of this kind of result, it is hard to see willing live donors.
Religion and Norms
A lot of people who could have been saved by an organ transplantation die. Such deaths wouldn’t have occurred if there were no religious sentiments attached to the option of collecting tissues or organs. For instance, some nurture the religious belief that it is an abomination for the organ of a dead person to be transplanted. Others feel that it is wrong to accept or give our organs. Rather than get a transplant such a person will live with the condition until death. A lot of people have either denied others or themselves from getting help through tissue transplantation because of their culture or religious beliefs.
After a recipient has been check listed for an organ transplant, the process will be followed by what is referred to as a waiting period. The waiting period varies depending on several circumstances, but it can last for up to three years. Many patients will have to wait for months and even years before an organ transplant can be carried out successfully. Many ailing persons will have to wait for many years before it gets to their turn to get an allocation for organ transplantation. Unfortunately, many die in the process of waiting as they never get the chance. This is because the number of donors available is no match for the recipients that are waiting to have their organs replaced with new ones. So, before it gets to the turn of a person to have an organ transplantation, the only option will be to wait and hope that a perfect donor will be found.
This is another battle for clinical surgery in the sense that it is becoming difficult for surgical extractors to harvest organs that have been damaged in accidents like an auto crash. For instance, a person who has consented to have their cornea removed could have died in an auto crash. Or in a case where a donor has consented to have the skin extracted, that donor can also the skin burnt beyond recognition during a fire outbreak. These unfortunate accidents reduce the number of donors. It also slows down the entire system and increases the waiting period for patients.
Ignorance is also playing its part on the intelligence of the populace in the sense that many do not know that they are capable of saving countless lives. As far as tissue donation and transplantation is concerned, there is no restriction regarding who can donate. The only exception is when the person is infected by an incurable disease. This is because many people are skeptical about giving out or receiving organs. Some others are unaware that they can register as potential donors for others. These sort of donations are fulfilled after the death of the donor. When the individual dies, either by accident or natural causes, the hospital has the right to harvest the organs and use them for saving the lives of matching patients. The limited number of people who register in donation centers still affects the number of transplants carried out worldwide. More people should be encouraged to make the necessary arrangements to donate their vital organs after death.
These are some of the factors that have influenced the organ or tissue transportation. Many other factors affect organ donation and transplantation. These are just a few.