Organ donations get ticking again

Kidney the most transplanted organ

After a dip during the first wave of COVID-19 pandemic, the number of organ donations and transplantations in Telangana is once again picking up.

After the State government’s Jeevandan Cadaver Transplantation Programme was started in 2013, the highest of 573 organs were donated in 2018, followed by 263 in 2017. In 2019, it was 469. After coronavirus started to spread in the State from March 2020, the donations plummeted with only 257 organs being donated.

A large pool of donors is brain-dead patients who suffer critical severe injuries to brain in road accidents. Minimal movement of people during lockdown and therefore, fewer accidents, was cited as one of the reasons for low donations.

Lockdown was implemented this year too when the second wave set in around mid-March. However, the donations did not come down. From January to August 10 of this year, 310 organs were donated. Since over four months are left for the year to end, the numbers are expected to increase.

Of all the organs, kidney is the most transplanted. Of the total 3,369 transplantations, 40% (1,360) are of kidneys.

In-charge of Jeevandan Programme and nephrologist G. Swarnalatha said uncontrolled hypertension and diabetes is leading to kidney diseases, and kidney failure.

The senior doctor has suggested some methods to prevent and avoid progression of kidney diseases and failure of the organ — drink at least two litres of water a day, limit salt consumption to 2 to 4 grams a day rather than the 12-14 grams which Indian foods have, cut down consumption of pickles, consume fresh vegetables and fruits, exercise regularly, limit animal protein source and stop unprescribed usage of painkillers.

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