On January 05, 2018, MOHAN Foundation was invited by Mr. Pradeep Paul an employee of BHEL to conduct an awareness session on organ donation at his BHEL-PEM office at Sector 16A, Noida. BHEL-PEM is the integrated power plant equipment manufacturer and one of the largest engineering and manufacturing companies in India in terms of turnover since 1964. Ms. Mareena Thomas, Programme Officer, MOHAN Foundation was the resource person for the talk. She was accompanied by Mr. Pawan Shekhawat, Transplant Coordinator MF. This session was possible solely because of personal interest and initiatives taken by Mr. Pawan.
Mr. Ripandeep from HR introduced MOHAN Foundation to the participants. Ms. Mareena began by interacting with participants to set in motion the session. She asked the participants if they had heard or discussed about organ donation ever before. Many people raised their hands in affirmation while there was only one person who had pledged to be an organ donor. Though many of them had heard of brain death, some felt a person who is brain dead is still alive, while there were others who confused the same with coma. Through the session Mareena clarified that a person who is in coma is legally alive as the brain is still alive and the body can carry out its functions. Though in the case of brain dead the body cannot sustain its functions on its own and need artificial support in the form of ventilator.
Mareena in her presentation emphasized on the need i.e. demand versus supply of organs, who and when can the organs be donated, Indian Law that governs the transplant activity i.e. THO Act 1994 and the process of organ donation. She also discussed the criteria for solid organ donation. It is only in "brain death" condition that solid organs can be retrieved in a hospital that is registered with the state appropriate authority as a transplantation centre and has a brain death committee. A video on brain death was shown to the audience to reinforce the concept. During the session one participant shared the concern of a person being falsely declared brain dead. To that Mareena ensured a person is certified brain death only in a hospital that has a certified brain death committee that has a panel of doctors who have no connection with transplantation. To ensure a person is brain dead series of tests are done twice with a gap of six hours.
Mareena explained the different ways one could pledge to be an organ donor. She also emphasized on the fact that pledging by signing a donor card or filling up an organ donor pledge form, in both the situations it is important to bring the family in consensus with one’s wishes, as their decision will be considered final.
Mr.Pradeep had arranged for Form 7 that could be taken home by the participants. This was to facilitate a discussion with the family, get their consent and submit the same with him which would be thereafter sent to National Organ Tissue and Transplant Organisation through MOHAN Foundation. There were 37 participants and 22 donor cards were picked up.