Cadaver transplant refers to removal of organs for transplant after a person’s death. Death can be of two types : Cardiac death or cessation of cardiac activity permanently is the conventional concept of death.
In cases admitted to the ICUs of various hospitals, a person may have cessation of all functions of brain or brainstem due to lack of blood supply to the brain. In these cases heart, kidneys, lungs and other organs can continue to function for sometime.
In India a committee of doctors in the hospital, declare a person brain dead after testing for the same as per Human organ trasplant act and rules. The organs i.e. heart, lungs , kidneys, pancreas and other useful organs may be allocated by the authorities as per guidelines.
Prior permission of the deceased individual and his close family members is required before organ retrieval. Till the organs are removed the ventilator and other supportive measures to keep these organs in optimum state are continued. In case donation of these organs is not agreed by relatives, the organs can not be removed. (Full details are mentioned in THOA 2014 and its various amendments and state level committees.
For cadaver donation of kidneys state and transplant centers maintain a waiting list of suitable patients. Weightage in waiting list is given as per set guidelines.
In some countries now in cases of persons who have terminal diseases and organ donation is planned, the removal of organ is planned in such a way that organ(s) are removed immediately the heart function ceases. The results of such transplants are encouraging.