It’s an operation during which surgeons replace a sick organ by a healthy organ called a graft.
Every year in the world, 90,000 grafts and organ donations save or improve patients’ lives.
Organ donation is anonymous, free and there is no age limit.
But how does an organ transplant work?
If someone has an accident and cannot be saved when they go to hospital, there’s a race against time.
Doctors keep the heart beating; breathing and temperature are maintained artificially to preserve the organs.
Hospital staff make inquiries about whether the person wanted to be an organ donor, by asking the family for example.
Doctors check which organs are healthy and try to find a recipient who is compatible.
That’s right, the cells of the graft can’t be too different from the recipient’s, otherwise their body will reject it.
The organs are then harvested by a specialist team of surgeons.
They are then kept in an ice box and taken as fast as possible to the recipient.
The organ transplant can then take place. The operation may involve up to 8 surgeons and last 12 hours! It’s long, but it’s worth it!
We can also give organs to members of the family when we are alive. Yes, we can get along without a kidney, or part of our liver or lung!