Organ donations by the bereft of brain-dead patients have seen an outstanding rise during the recent years; however, it is still frowned upon among some Iranians.
Iran is among the countries which faces lack of donors when it comes to organ transplantation; however, it conducts such operations at highest level techniques. It is usually a hard decision for the bereaved Iranian families to acquiesce on organ donation from the deceased bodies of their beloved ones.
Compared to other countries, Iran is not very outstanding in terms of the number of organ transplantation operations. Even though the number of transplantation operations has increased in recent years, still an average of 10 patients in need of body organs die in Iran every day. Right now, there are over 25,000 registered patients waiting for organ donations.
Figures show that in 2014, nearly 120,000 organ transplantation were carried out in the world. The most popular organs were kidney, liver, heart, lungs and pancreas, among other organs. The sad news is that the number is only less than 10 percent of what was needed during the year. A brain-dead body makes a perfect organ donor because, technically, the corpse is still alive but its brain neurons are dead because of hypoxia.
On average, 7 to 10 patients are announced brain-dead every day in Iran mostly after car accidents. Among the victims, only one fourth of their families allow medical teams to donate their body parts to patients in need. Although most Iranian Islamic scholars have expressed their consent with the issue of organ donations, some families oppose it because of emotional bonds.
Kidney, liver, lung, pancreas and intestine of a brain-dead patient can be grafted onto another person but other organs like bones and cornea can be donated even from the person who is officially pronounced dead. Figures indicate that every ten minutes one patient in need of a functioning graft is added to the transplant waiting list in Iran. However, it takes 12 hours for one of them to receive an organ.
On the other hand, every 70 minutes a patient is announced brain-dead and a patient in need of body parts loses their life every two hours. Statistics suggest that in 2013, 3 to 5,000 people filled in organ donation forms in Iran. This is while 8 years before that, only 30 people registered as organ donors on a daily average. Over 1.8 million Iranian nationals have so far been registered as organ donors.