Organ donors save lives | Bangkok Post: learning

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Organ donors save lives

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Kidney, liver and heart transplants mean life or death to many. The Red Cross aims to end the growing organ shortage. 

lab technician

In the photo above, a medical scientist at the Thai Red Cross Society conducts a test to examine the matching of cells of donors and recipients in transplants (Photo by KOSOL NAKACHOL).

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Red Cross sets bold donated organs target, Superstition holding back growth in supply by Apiradee Treerutkuarkul


The Thai Red Cross Organ Donation Centre has launched an ambitious campaign to encourage people to donate their bodies and organs after death.

The centre launched the campaign as part of the nationwide celebrations to mark His Majesty the King's 84th birthday later this year.

The campaign is aimed at solving a growing organ shortage in the country. The centre has set a target of 84,000 people who agree to donate their bodies and organs, said Visist Dhitavat, the centre director.

Thousands of patients have asked the centre for transplanted organs and the demand is expected to grow, he said.

Each year the centre receives fewer than 90 human organs, which falls well short of the number of patients needing transplants.

Dr Visist said most Thais did not want to donate their organs because they believed those body parts would be missing if they were reincarnated.

The centre has nearly 2,700 patients waiting for kidney transplants, about 200 awaiting liver transplants and about 50 wanting heart transplants, he said.

Dr Visist said health workers should be more precise when identifying brain death in head trauma cases.

State hospitals and medical schools should find ways to enable their doctors and nurses to better determine brain death, as this could help patients in need of donated organs. 

Relatives might agree to donate the organs of their loved ones who had been declared brain-dead, he said.

Road accidents kill 12,000 people each year, most of them motorcycle riders. Many of them are head trauma cases.

Sophon Jirasiritham, chairman of Ramathibodi Hospital's kidney transplant project, said better management of trauma cases was needed if the brain-death stipulation was to be applied more often. Encouraging families to donate their brain-dead loved ones' organs might be insensitive, so doctors should be trained to deal with the situation carefully.

He said the hospital focused more on increasing organ donations from living people in full control of their faculties, as those from the Thai Red Cross Organ Donation Centre were still scarce. 

"[Organ] transplantation is a duty, not a charity," said Dr Sophon. 

We can't increase the number of donated organs based on the charitable process alone.

The number of patients with chronic kidney problems listed under the universal healthcare scheme increased from 12,000 in 2009 to 15,000 last year.

The number of patients receiving kidney transplants at the hospital had risen from an average of 70 per year in the early 1990s to 106 last year because of the hospital's efforts to encourage organ donations.

Ramathibodi Hospital and the National Health Security Office, which oversees the universal healthcare scheme, had opened the Excellence Centre for Kidney Transplantation, which could bring about a further increase in transplants to 150 by 2014.

The Public Health Ministry also hoped to set up organ transplant centres in five regional hospitals in Chon Buri, Nakhon Ratchasima, Phitsanulok, Surat Thani and Ubon Ratchatani to boost the number of organ donors and improve access to transplants.

(Source: Bangkok Post, Red Cross sets bold donated organs target, Superstition holding back growth in supply, 15/08/2011, Apiradee Treerutkuarkul, link)

Medical Vocabulary

Thai Red Cross Society - the branch of the Red Cross in Thailand, founded in 1893 (See Wikipedia) สภากาชาดไทย

Red Cross - an international organization that cares for the sick or wounded or homeless in wartime and natural disasters, the red cross symbol protects them from attack, founded in 1864 with headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, the Red Cross is famous for the volunteers working for the organisation and for providing blood for medical purposes (See Wikipedia)

patient - someone who is receiving medical treatment คนป่วย, คนไข้

organ -
a part of the body such as the heart, liver, kidney's, lungs, etc that performs some important function in sustaining the life of a living thing, organs are made of tissues and tissues are made of cells (See Wikipedia)

donate
- to give something to other people (such as money or goods to an charity organisation or here an organ or your whole body to a patient who needs it after you die) บริจาค
donate organ
- to give an organ in your body to sick people who need it, after you die
donate body -
to give your whole body to sick people who need it, after you die

organ donation -
the act of giving an organ to sick people after you die
donated organs -
organs for sick people (donated by people for use after they die)

donor -
a person who gives things to other people (valuable things that they need)
recipients - people who receive something ผู้รับ

boost - to increase; to strengthen เพิ่ม; ทำให้มีกำลังมากขึ้น
boost the number of organ donors - increase the number of organ donors

matching of cells of donors and recipients in transplants - reducing transplant rejection by finding the best donor-recipient match through the process of serotyping (See Wikipedia)

transplant rejection - when a transplanted organ is "not accepted by the body of the transplant recipient. This is explained by the concept that the immune system of the recipient attacks the transplanted organ or tissue. This is expected to happen, because the immune system's purpose is to distinguish foreign material within the body and attempt to destroy it, just as it attempts to destroy infecting organisms such as bacteria and viruses. When possible, transplant rejection can be reduced through serotyping to determine the most appropriate donor-recipient match and through the use of immunosuppressant drugs," organ rejection can happen immediately or over several years, so it is an ever present danger (See Wikipedia)

shortage - when there is not enough of something การขาดแคลน
growing organ shortage - over time there are less and less organs

transplant -
organ transplant, a medical operation in which a part of a person's body is replaced with the same part from another person (or sometimes an animal) because the part in their body is diseased (See Wikipedia)
transplanted organs -
organs (kidney, liver, heart, etc) taken from one person and given to another person who needs it to continue living

kidney
- one of the two organs in your body that clean your blood and remove waste ไต
kidney transplantation - the process of transplanting donating kidneys into patients (See Wikipedia)
kidney transplants - the actual surgery that changes the kidney in a person's body
liver transplants - the surgery for changing a person's liver (See Wikipedia)
heart transplants - the surgery for changing a person's heart (See Wikipedia)

waiting list - a queue or line of people waiting to receive a limited amount or limited supply of something
placed on the waiting list - put a patient who needs an organ transplant on a waiting list (to wait for an organ when it becomes available) 

trauma - a serious injury, physical trauma การบาดเจ็บรุนแรง  (See Wikipedia)
head trauma - a serious injury to the head (See Wikipedia)

brain death - permanent brain damage which indicates whether a person is dead or still alive; brain death ends breathing (respiration) by a person on their own, note: the heart can still function if the brain is dead which means that a the circulation of blood into a kidney (perfusion) can be maintained  (See Wikipedia and Google Definitions)

declared brain-dead - when a doctor decides that a person is brain dead and therefore officially dead

determine - to officially find out or decide something ตัดสินใจ ชี้ขาด
determine brain death - when a doctor uses medical observations (facts, evidence) to reach the conclusion that a person is brain dead

stipulation -
a condition (in an agreement, contract or other document)
brain-death stipulation -
a condition in an agreement that a person's body or organs will be donated, if they are found to be brain dead 

superstition -
 ความเชื่อในผีสางเทวดา, ความเชื่อในทางไสยศาสตร์, ความเชื่องมงาย, ความเชื่อถือในทางผิดๆ
holding back in growth -
stopping and preventing something from growing

bold - daring, brave (involving a risk; confident and unafraid) กล้า ท้าทาย
target - a goal; the amount you are planning to achieve เป้าหมาย

ambitious - have very high goals that are difficult to achieve, difficult and needing a lot of effort to succeed ทะเยอทยาน

launch
- start เริ่มต้นดำเนินการ began เริ่ม
campaign - to try to achieve political or social change by persuading other people or the government to do something การรณรงค์
launch campaign - start a campaign (start a series of actions to achieve some social or political goal)

encourage
- make people interested in and excited about doing an activity ปลุกใจ give energy to continue doing activity, motivate, give confidence

nationwide - throughout a whole country ทั่วทั้งประเทศ
celebration - an enjoyable event for some "special occasion" like a birthday or public holiday 
nationwide celebrations - celebrations that everyone throughout the country participates in

mark
- to celebrate something ฉลอง (to show respect for or commemorate, to show that something is happening เป็นการเริ่มต้น,  เป็นเครืองแสดง

expected
- believe will happen คาดว่า (จะเกิดขึ้น)
demand - the need and desire to buy goods and services by households and businesses
demand
expected to grow - people will probably want more of them in the future

X falls well short of Y - Y is very far ahead of X, Y is much more advanced than X
reincarnation - the belief that after the death of a person's body, they come back to Earth in a newborn body (See Wikipedia and Google Definitions)
reincarnated - when a person experiences reincarnation after death

precise - exact and accurate แน่นอน, ถูกต้อง, เที่ยงตรง
identify -

enable - to make someone able to do something, or to make something possible ทำให้เป็นไปได้

insensitive -
not caring for other people's feelings
relatives - more distant family members (outside of the "nuclear family" of mother, father, daughters and sons)
loved ones -
family members, next-of-kin (the people who are informed about a person's death; and make decisions about a person's death) 

people in full control of their faculties - aware of things around them, able to understand and make decisions by themselves (brain injury or heavy medication may prevent this)

scarce - not easy to find or get ขาดแคลน, ไม่เพียงพอ, หายาก
duty - something that you have to do because it is part of your job, or something that you feel is the right thing to do หน้าที่, ความรับผิดชอบ

charity
- involving giving money or help to people who are poor or ill, or who need advice and support การกุศล
charitable - having a kind attitude towards people and wanting to help them rather than criticise them ใจบุญ เมตตากรุณา giving money to the poor and disadvantaged

process
- a series of actions taken to achieve a result แนวทางปฏิบัติ, กระบวน, วิธีการ

chronic - (of a disease or pain) serious and lasting for a long time เป็นประจำ
chronic kidney problems - kidney problems that grow and develop over a long period of time (See Wikipedia)

universal
- involving everyone ทั่วไป
healthcare - the treatment and prevention of diseases and other medical problems
scheme - a plan that is developed by a government or large organisation in order to provide a particular service for people แผนการ โครงการ
universal healthcare scheme - Thailand's current healthcare system in which everyone gets access to healthcare (whether they have money to pay for it or not)

efforts
- the work done towards achieving some goal, people trying to accomplish something, achieve a goal ความพยายาม

improve - to make better ทำให้ดีขึ้น
access - the right or opportunity to have or use something ได้รับสิทธิ์หรือโอกาสในการใช้

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