Knowledge, attitude and practices of medical undergraduates of Rawalpindi Medical University regarding potential organ donation.

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From: Journal of Pakistan Medical Association(Vol. 70, Issue 10)
Publisher: Knowledge Bylanes
Document Type: Report
Length: 2,523 words
Lexile Measure: 1640L

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Byline: Asfaa Ashfaq, Sadia Tariq, Sana Javed Awan, Rehana Sarafraz, Abida Sultana and Lubna Meraj

Keywords: Potential organ donation, Organ transplant, Knowledge, Attitude, Practices, Medical students, KAP study, Transplant.


Potential organ donor is a person, whose cells, tissues and organs can be recovered after the declaration of brain death if the organs are viable and there is no absolute medical contraindication. The consent for donation is either given by the donor themselves or by family after their death. On the basis of death declaration criteria, these donors can be divided into Deceased Heart Beating Donor (donor after brain death) and Deceased Non-Heart Beating Donor (donor after cardiac death). The former can be kept alive by cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) till the viable organ is recovered. 1

According to a rough estimate, around 50,000 people in Pakistan die each year from end-stage organ failure. According to the Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplant (SIUT) 2, these constitute around 15,000 from kidney failure, 10,000 from liver failure and 6,500 from heart failure. Most of these lives can be saved if there are organs available for transplantation. Live donation can be done for very limited range of organs, i.e. kidney, portion of the liver, lobe of a lung, part of pancreas, or intestine. However, in deceased donation, a single donor can donate up to 17 organs, including kidneys, liver, lungs, heart, pancreas, intestine, corneas, bone, bone marrow and skin and can save the lives of at least 8 patients on an average. 2,3

Pakistan at present has a growing programme of live organ donations and transplantations with several transplant institutes throughout the country. According to a 2007 survey, only 400 live kidney transplant procedures were conducted, which is not enough to reduce mortality associated with end-stage renal disease (ESRD). 4 There is only one specialised facility for liver transplantation in Pakistan and very limited number of surgeons are specialised in the field. 5 In the case of deceased organ transplantation, only 7 had been carried out in Pakistan till 2005. 6 Out of these, 6 organs were imported from international donors. 6 No further countrywide surveys were carried out. In Pakistan, another major problem regarding organ donation is organ export or commercial sale of organs to foreign recipients. This practice was prevalent to a much greater extent before the formulation of a law against it in 2010. 7

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), Global Activity in Organ Transplantation estimates that total 119,873 solid organs were transplanted globally in 2014, which included 79,948 kidneys, 26,151 livers and 6,542 hearts. 8 In the United States, 30,849 kidney transplants were conducted, out of which 67% were from deceased donors, while only 25.3% deceased donors contributed in the total of 5,290 transplants conducted in South Asia. These statistics depict a huge role of potential donation in developed countries. 9

Medical students who have to witness life-and-death situations are expected to have a better idea of the gravity of the situation and therefore, to have better...

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A638634336