A file photo of healthcare personnel carrying a live heart harvested from a woman, who was confirmed brain dead.

Karnataka is seeing a significant increase in the number of organ donors and is ranked second in India with 178 organ donations in 2023. In 2024, so far, 21 organ donations have taken place. However, with thousands awaiting transplant of various organs, the gap between donations and requirement remains huge.

Statistics on organ donations were released by the Health Department on the occasion of Chief Minister Siddaramaiah distributing certificates of appreciation to organ donors’ families at an event held at the CM’s Home Office on March 1. Many of the family members of those who have donated organs and tissues following brain dysfunction became emotional when they received the certificates.

The Chief Minister, speaking at the event, emphasised the importance of making organ donation pledges and appreciated families that had taken the call to donate organs of loved ones while they were on the death bed.

Number of pledges

As per statistics by SOTTO (State Organ Tissue & Transplant Organisation), from September 5, 2023, to February 27, 2024, Karnataka was ranked fourth with a total of 20,029 organ donation pledges through the NOTTO (National Organ Tissue & Transplant Organisation) QR code. Among these, 11,527 are women. A total of 61,147 individuals have pledged for organ donation through the Jeevasarthakathe (SOTTO) QR code/NOTTO QR code. Ballari district ranks first in India with 4,363 people pledging their organs.

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There remains a severe shortage of human organs compared to the need to save the lives of individuals suffering from end-stage organ failure, according to Health Minister Dinesh Gundu Rao. This includes many individuals who need corneas, heart valves, skin, and other tissues, he added.

One organ donor can save eight lives

The Minister said that one organ donor can save as many as eight lives. The heart, two kidneys, liver, pancreas, small intestine, and lungs can be donated. The same donor can save more than 50 lives through tissue donation. Other organs that can be donated are skin, bones, ligament, heart valves, and eyes. There is no age limit for organ donation.

People awaiting donation of various organs in Karnataka

Organ People on waitlist
Kidney 5942
Liver 2043
Heart 187
Lungs 79
Heart & Lungs 30
Liver & Kidney 61
Kidney & Pancreas 29 
Heart & Kidney 2
Small intestine 1

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