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Heart transplants show an increase in India; despite this, awareness on organ donation needed

Added: (Sat May 12 2018)

Pressbox (Press Release) - New Delhi, 11 May 2018: There has been a ten-fold increase in heart transplantations in India since 2016, thanks to improved coordination between donation, retrieval and transplantation, as per recent estimates. About 300 heart transplantations took place across India in two years, as per data provided by the National Organ and Tissue Transplantation Organization (NOTTO), the national coordinating agency for cadaveric organ donation. What is encouraging is that even Tier 2 cities have emerged as transplantation hubs.

A heart transplant surgery is a highly sensitive procedure during which heart with damaged heart muscles, artery or valve is replaced with a fully functional and a healthy heart retrieved from a recently deceased individual.

Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee, Dr K K Aggarwal, President, HCFI, said, “Most organs retrieved after brain death remains alive for hours before they are transplanted in next person. Once blood is taken from a person it can be stored for months before being given to next person. The story of dancer Claire Sylvia who after receiving heart and lung transplant developed the traits of the donor (change in sexual preferences from male to female, change in the liking of color from red to green and blue, new acquiring taste for chicken and beer) talks about the concept cellular memory and that memory and consciousness can remain alive and even transfer to other persons during transplantation. However, this may not happen in everyone.”

The process of recovering organs is called harvesting. This organ is transplanted into the recipient who needs that organ. There are two types of organ donation: Live Donation and Deceased or Cadaver Donation.

Adding further, Dr Aggarwal, who is also the Group Editor of IJCP, said, “Although the statistics indicate that there has been an increase in the number of heart transplants, there is a need to raise further awareness. People need to be sensitized on the fact that they can live even after death through organ donation. There is also a need to remove myths and misconceptions about organ donation and spread the message around.”

HCFI demystifies some myths

• Age is not a barrier for organ donation. Even people above the age of 80 have become organ and tissue donors.

• There is no requirement to be in perfect health for donation. Even those who smoke, drink or don’t have a healthy diet can donate.

• Organ and tissue donation do not disfigure the body in any way.

• In case of an accident, the doctor will always try to save the life of the victim first. Organ donation is considered as an option only when the person dies due to certain circumstances.

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About Heart Care Foundation of India

Initiated in 1986, the Heart Care Foundation of India is a leading National NGO working in the field of creating mass health awareness among people from all walks of life and providing solutions for India's everyday healthcare needs. The NGO uses consumer-based entertainment modules to impart health education and increase awareness amongst people. A leading example of this is the Perfect Health Mela; an annual event started in 1993 that is attended by over 2-3 lakh people each year. The Mela showcases activities across categories such as health education seminars and check-ups, entertainment programs, lifestyle exhibitions, lectures, workshops, and competitions. In addition to this, the NGO conducts programs and camps to train people on the technique of hands only CPR through its CPR 10 mantra for revival after a sudden cardiac arrest. They currently hold three Limca book of world records for the maximum number of people trained in hands-only CPR in one go. Keeping article 21 of the Indian Constitution in mind, which guarantees a person Right to Life, Heart Care Foundation of India has also recently initiated a project called the Sameer Malik Heart Care Foundation Fund to ensure that no one dies of a heart disease just because they cannot afford treatment.

For more information, please contact

Heart Care Foundation of India

Sanjeev Khanna-9871079105

Md Adib Ahmed- 9873716235

Email- media.hcfi@gmail.com

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