In a first, 'Bones' to be Harvested from Brain-dead Persons in Karnataka

·2 min read

Organ donation is saving numerous lives all over the world. Karnataka has actively seen successful instances of cadaver donations and organ transplant surgeries over the years. Jeevasarthakathe, the state government-backed cadaver donation co-ordination organization has played a very important role in facilitating legal organ donations in the state. Kidneys, liver, heart, valves, skin, pancreas are commonly harvested from a brain-dead person with the consent of the family of the deceased. For the first time, ‘Bone’ is added to the list of organs that can be harvested from a brain-dead person in approved conditions coordinated by Jeevasarthakathe.

[q]What is Human Bone Donation?[/q]

[ans]Bones can be retrieved from a brain-dead person only. As of now, femur, the longest bone in human body is decided to harvest. The organ donation coordination team will get the necessary documentation done for the family of the deceased and go on with it. If the family agrees, bone will be retrieved as and when other approved organs are surgically extracted from the said body. There’s no age limit for bone donation and hence the usage is comparatively wide.[/ans]

[q]When can the bones be harvested from a brain-dead person?[/q]

[ans]Ideally, bones should be extracted within 10 to 12 hours of death of the person. After removal of the bone, a prosthesis will be attached into its place. This will avoid disfiguration of the mortal remains which is generally the concern of the donor’s family.[/ans]

[q]Who is benefitted from donated bones?[/q]

[ans]Cancer patients whose bones are damaged either with disease or with harsh treatment methods are the one that will be highly benefitted by the donated bones. Also, those who might have met with severe accidents leading to crushing of bones will have a good chance of reconstruction surgery by grafting donor’s tissues. The biggest advantage of bone donation is that there is no parameters to be matched between the donor and the recipient, not even their blood groups.[/ans]

[q]How are the bones stored? How long will they last?[/q]

[ans]M S Ramiah Hospital and Rotary TTK are the only 2 centers in Bengaluru that have got license to store bones medically. The bones are processed in a certain way, marrows removed, treated clinically and stored in -80°C. Bones stored thus can stay fresh until 5 years. At least 30 patients in Bengaluru are in need of donor bones in a month which was not available until now. One donor can donate bones that would help minimum 40 persons. Hence this new venture is expected to give new lease of life to many.[/ans]

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