WhatsApp: Be cautious about the organ donation messages

WhatsApp is a great tool of communication, if used wisely. With everyone around us talking about organ donation, there are huge chances of bogus promotions on the same. My Medical Mantra tries to review one such fake message doing rounds about organ donation and what is the correct to go about it

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At least, once in our lifetime, we must have received messages like – “A donor of Kidneys is available. A person aged 27 is in his death bed. His last wish is to donate his kidneys. His blood group is: AB+ve. Mob: **********..Plz Share… Someone, somewhere, may require. Forward to as many as possible. We may save a life.”

With increasing number of awareness programmes that promote organ donation, a concern by the experts is about how should a lay man react to the message?

“In the past 8 months, I have got such messages at least 120 times. Now, I have drafted a message to send to such people. Organ donation is a very particular and systematic procedure. Firstly, nobody can donate their organs just like that; they need to pledge the organs. Secondly, only after a person is declared brain dead, his organs can be donated,” said Dr Kamakshi Bhate, Regional Organ and Tissue Transplantation Organisations (ROTTO) coordinator for NGO.

Organ donation in India is a systematic orchestrated programme. Here, Zonal Transplant Committee and ROTTO are responsible in coordinating between hospitals and recipient wait list. Whenever there is a potential donor ZTCC checks the recipient wait list and calls up the respective hospital. Therefore, one should not believe in such messages. These messages create unnecessary panic situation and misguide people,” said Dr Tarang Gianchandani, CEO, Jaslok Hospital.

Aarti Gokhale, central coordinator at ZTCC Pune, said, “These kinds of advertisements should not be allowed. People should understand that there is a proper procedure when it comes to organ donation of a brain dead patient. Once the patient is declared brain dead, hospital needs to take consent of the patient’s family. If the consent is given, the local zonal transplant committee then allocates the organ as per the waiting list criteria. People should not believe in such messages.”

How to go about body or organ donation?

Go online to fill the counter pledge form for organ donation.

ZTCC office at Sion Hospital or ROTTO office at KEM Hospital accepts forms.

29 NGO’s are allowed to accept the physical form too.

A badge of ‘donor’ is then allotted to the person.