‘Truth is indeed stranger than fiction’

We have heard about organ donation and how we can pledge our organs. We have also heard about organ transplantation procedures. But how much do we really know? This A to Z of organ transplantation will make you aware of all facets of the cause.

In layman's terms organ donation is the process where the organs of a person a removed with the consent of the donor or after the death of a person, with the consent of the next of kin. Only healthy organs can be transplanted into another person

The very first kidney transplant noted in history was in 1954. Ronald Lee Harrick, donated his kidney to his twin brother. The surgeon who performed this procedure, Dr. Joseph Murray, was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for it.

The youngest donor in history is a 100 minute old baby, whose kidneys were transplanted into an adult in 2015 . While the oldest known donor is a Scottish woman who was 107 year old when a cadaveric donation happened of her organs.

There are mainly two types of organ donation - living organ donation and deceased/cadaver organ donation. Donate Life deals with the latter. Tissue donation is also a kind of organ donation where one can donate tendons, valves, veins, skin and bones. You can also donate your eye's cornea. Solid organ donation happens in cases of brain-death only, whereas tissue organ donation can happen in the cases of brain-death and in cases of other kind of deaths.

When it comes to organ transplantation there two kinds, autografts and allografts. Autografts are when organs or tissues are transplanted in the same person’s body and allografts are when organs and tissues are transplanted in two different beings of the same species. There is one more less common kind called xenograft, where the organs or tissues are transplanted into different species.

In the following pages, you will learn more about organ donation.