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Can An Alcoholic Donate Organs For Transplantation?

By: Chandana Rao

Imagine, you go on a night out with your friends and have more drinks that you planned to.

The next day, you decide to donate blood, but when you go to the blood donation centre, they do not allow you to donate blood, because there are still traces of alcohol in your blood!

So, when it is not acceptable to donate your blood with traces of alcohol in it, is it possible to donate organs, if you are someone who abuses alcohol?

Many of us may indulge in a drink or two occasionally; however, there are some people who feel like they cannot function without drinking alcohol.

Consuming alcohol on a daily basis, in large quantities, to the point of getting extremely intoxicated or blacking out is a sure fire sign of alcoholism.

An alcoholic is a person who gets addicted to consuming alcohol and the temporary "feel good" sensation attained from it.

organ donation facts

Alcohol consumption can be very unhealthy even if you consume it more than a few times in a month, so you can imagine how harmful it can be, when you consume large quantities on a daily basis.

So, alcoholics expose themselves to various health conditions such as nerve weakness, disorientation, brain cell damage, depression, lowered immunity, liver damage, liver cancer, hepatitis, higher risk of STDs, etc.

So, if a person is a long-term alcoholic who has abused alcohol for years together, then, there are high chances of him/her being affected with a number of diseases.

Now, we know that when the vital organs of the body like the heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, brain, etc., are damaged due to diseases and injury a person could lose his life.

In such cases, organ transplantation is performed by placing healthy organs from the donors.

The question is, can alcoholics donate organs to the people in need? With the Organ Donation Day just around, let us find out!

Alcoholics And Organ Donation

Organ transplantation is an extremely advanced and complicated procedure which has been used to save many lives across the globe.

When a patient's vital organ is damaged, either due to the development of a disease in that organ, accidents that cause injury to the organ, etc., doctors try to immediately replace the damaged organ with a healthy one, acquired by a donor.

Usually, organ donation is done after a healthy person passes away. Some organs like the liver and the kidney can be donated while the donor is still alive.

organ donation facts

Now, if a person who abuses alcohol wants to donate an organ, it may not be possible in most cases, because usually, alcoholics have certain ailments.

In most alcoholics, liver diseases and nervous disorders are apparent, so their organs may not be healthy enough to be donated to a patient.

However, after conducting tests, if the doctors feel that an alcoholic's organs are healthy enough, he can still donate.

There are a number of rules that must be followed before and after donation.
They must stop consuming alcohol months before a donation is made, as the alcohol in the body may interfere with the surgery.

In addition, if an alcoholic donates an organ while still alive, he/she should quit drinking, because the body may not be able to handle alcohol, after donating a vital organ!

So, if you are an alcoholic or someone who drinks on a regular basis and you want to donate organs, it is important to talk to a doctor and have tests conducted before a decision can be made.

Read more about: organs, donation, alcohol
Story first published: Saturday, August 12, 2017, 18:00 [IST]
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