Unseen Passage: Donated Organs and their Transportation

Once an organ donor’s family gives its consent and the organs are matched to a recipient, medical professionals are faced with the onerous challenge of transporting organs while ensuring that the harvested organ reaches its destination in the shortest possible time. This is done in order to preserve the harvested organs and involves the police and especially the traffic police department.

The traditional method of transporting organs by road is referred to as a “green corridor”. This process entails police escorting an ambulance, so as to move around traffic – usually a specific traffic lane is chosen and all signals on the route stay green to ensure it to reach its destination in the shortest possible time. A ‘green corridor’ is a route cleared and cordoned off by the traffic police to ensure the smooth and steady transportation of harvested organs, on most occasions, to those awaiting a life-saving transplant. Organs tend to have a very short preservation time, such as the heart which has to be harvested and transplanted within four hours or the lungs which can be preserved for only six hours once they are harvested.

The first green corridor in India was created by Chennai Traffic Police in September 2008 when they accomplished their task of enabling an ambulance to reach its destination within 11 minutes during peak hour traffic. That organ saved a nine-year-old girl whose life depended on the transplant.

Similarly, such green corridors have been created by traffic police of various cities such as Pune, Mumbai, Delhi NCR etc. Personnel are stationed at selected points to divert, control and clear the traffic giving way to the ambulance. Apart from this, a motorcade of police vehicles accompanies the ambulance ensuring that it does not face any problems. Delhi Traffic Police provided a green corridor from IGI Airport to Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences in Vasant Kunj for transportation of a liver. The distance of 14 kms was covered in 11 minutes.

Experts point out the lack of a robust system to transport organs to super-speciality hospitals in least possible time. National Organ & Tissue Transplant Organisation (NOTTO), the country’s apex organ donation agency, is now framing a proposal to airlift cadaver organs and will send a report to the Union Health Ministry. “Cadaver organs have a short life and so transplant should be done within a few golden hours.” Director (NOTTO) expressed, “Therefore, we are preparing a proposal for airlifting organs at any given moment.”

Most states do not have enough well-trained experts to retrieve or perform transplant procedures. Also, there is an acute shortage of advanced healthcare facilities to carry out a transplant. So, it is referred to other big centres in metropolitan cities. Organs retrieved from Aurangabad, Indore, Surat, Pune are sent to the Mumbai as these cities do not have super-speciality healthcare centres, informed officials.

“In India, about fifty thousand to one lakh patients are suffering from acute heart failure and need heart transplant at any point of time. In a private set-up, a heart transplant costs 15-20 lakhs, which is followed up by postoperative medication of about 30,000 per month lifelong.”

Q. On the basis of your understanding of the above passage, answer the following questions by choosing the most appropriate options:

  1. The first green corridor in India was created in:
    1. New Delhi
    2. Chennai
    3. Mumbai
    4. Pune
  2. The organization which is framing a proposal to airlift cadaver organs is:
    1. Union Health Ministry
    2. Regional Organ and Tissue Transplant Organisation
    3. National Organ and Tissue Transplant Organisation
    4. State Organ and Tissue Transplant Organisation
  3. The onerous task the author is talking about in para 1 is :
    1. finding organ donors.
    2. finding doctors capable of performing transplants.
    3. to carry the harvested organ in the shortest possible time.
    4. to arrange the requisite facilities for the transplant.
  4. Most of the people do not go for the heart transplant as :
    1. it is very risky.
    2. it is very painful.
    3. it may cause death of the recipient.
    4. the cost is prohibitive.
  5. Most states refer organ transplant cases to big hospitals because
    1. they don’t have well-trained experts.
    2. the patients don’t trust local doctors.
    3. the state hospitals are very crowded.
    4. they don’t have a pool of harvested organs.
  6. Heart retrieved from a body is alive only for _____________ hours.
    1. two
    2. three
    3. four
    4. five

Answers

  1. Chennai
  2. National Organ and Tissue Transplant Organisation
  3. to carry the harvested organ in the shortest possible time.
  4. the cost is prohibitive.
  5. they don’t have well-trained experts.
  6. four

Q. Answer the following questions briefly:

  1. What is a ‘green corridor’?
  2. Why is smooth transportation of the retrieved organ necessary?
  3. What opinion do you form of Chennai Police with regard to the transportation of a harvested
    heart?
  4. What does the author mean by ‘a few golden hours’?
  5. How much does a heart transplant cost a patient in a private hospital?
  6. Pick out the words from the passage which mean the same as the following:
    1. save (para 1)
    2. achieved / carried out (para 3)

Answer

  1. A green corridor is a route cleared and cordoned off by the traffic police to ensure the smooth and steady transportation of harvested organs, on most occasions, to those awaiting a life-saving transplant.
  2. A retrieved organ requires smooth transportation because it has very short preservation time post its harvest.
  3. Chennai Police did a phenomenal job by successfully transporting an organ in 11 minutes during the peak traffic hour and saving the life of a nine-year old girl.
  4. By ‘a few golden hours’, the author means ‘short preservation time’ that the harvested organs have with them.
  5. In a private hospital, a heart transplant costs 11 15-20 lakhs, which is followed by postoperative medication of about 30,000 per month lifelong.
  6. Words are:
    1. Preserve
    2. Accomplished

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