The medical condition of the person at the time of death can determine what organs and tissues can be donated and what cannot be. Organs need to be removed as soon as the person is declared brain-dead. Without the necessary oxygen supply, the organs stop functioning right.
The approximate amount of time between recovering the tissues/organs and transplanting them is:
- Lung - 4 to 6 hours
- Heart - 4 hours
- Liver - 24 hours
- Pancreas - 24 hours
- Kidney - 72 hours
- Cornea - 14 days
- Bones - 5 years
- Skin - 5 year
- Heart Valves - 10 years
This is why creating a tissue bank (heart valves, skin, bones etc.) is possible but creating an organ bank is not. In case of organ transplantation, the process has to be very quick in order to save a life.
Keeping a brain-dead person on ventilator support helps as the organs continue receiving oxygen, providing a window of time for doctors to conduct organ transplantation.
There is a waiting list of people who have asked for an organ - however, in India, the waiting list is very huge and the number of organ donors are far lesser.
Have you ever imagined how difficult it would be to transport vital organs from one state to another or even part of a major city to another in the 21st century? Organs like the heart and lungs give only 4 to 6 hours for the process.
The next section will tell you how organs are transported from one state or city to another.