1. Most common misconception is that organs can be donated by anyone after their death. That is not true.
2. Brain death is NOT coma. Coma is a state of deep unconsciousness, where there is activity in the brain, and the person can breathe on his/her own, without the help of a ventilator. Brain dead is different from coma and if there is any activity in the brain, the person will not be declared brain dead.
3. Brain death results due to severe injury (roadside or a stroke) where the damage is permanant and all functions of the brain cease to exist. It is not possible to recover from Brain Death; the person is already dead.
4. The medical fraternity follows strict guidelines laid down by the Transplantation of Human Organs Act 1994, to determine if a person is brain dead or not. In India, a panel of 4 doctors has to declare you brain dead before your organs can be harvested.
5. Anyone from a new born to 95 year old can donate organs and tissues. Your medical history is more important than your age.
6. There are very few medical conditons that would automatically disqualify you from donating any organs and tissues, so don’t disqualify, certain organs may be still suitable to donate.
7.There is a certain time limit within families have to decide if they want to donate organs of the loved ones, once brain dead, despite the ventilator the organs will eventually start to fail.
8. Organ donation is always carried out with the consent of next of kin. Your body does not get mutiliated, there is a single incision made through the organ and then the body is stiched back.
9. Buying and selling of human organs is absolutely illegal and punishable as per the Transplantation of Human Organs Act – 1994. There is no cost involved for the family of the donor.
10. In 2013, only 852 deceased organ transplant were carried out though lakhs of people waited for an organ to get a fresh lease of life. In the US, the figure was 22,966 the same year.