To promote the cadaver transplantation programme ‘Jeevandan’, the health authorities are planning to make brain-dead declarations mandatory in all Government teaching hospitals in Hyderabad.

Such a declaration will create a pool of organs, vital to implement the ‘Jeevandan’ programme, coming into force from January 1, 2013. Doctors associated with the scheme said that the government was examining a similar kind of government order by the Tamil Nadu government in 2008. Talks were also held with the Chief Transplant Coordinator of the widely successful Tamil Nadu Cadaver Transplantation programme, officials said.

At present, the Government teaching hospitals, including Gandhi, Osmania General Hospitals and Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences, are not declaring patients brain-dead. This was despite the fact that the Government hospitals have a huge potential to provide a large number of cadaver organs because of the higher number of admissions of trauma cases.

As per the Tamil Nadu model, the Government hospitals which declare brain-dead patients will have the first right over the heart, liver and one kidney of the brain-dead patient. “There is a need to develop cadaver transplantation facilities at Government hospitals also. If the harvesting hospital is not able to utilise the donated organs, then they will be sent to the general pool,” points out Nephrologist, Gandhi Hospital, Dr. Pradeep Deshpande.

Efforts are on to set up exclusive teams, consisting of neurologists, hospital administrators and transplant coordinators to follow the due procedures and declare brain-dead patients. Protocols needed for fair allocation of harvested organs from brain-dead patients to deserving patients are being chalked-out, officials indicated. The ‘Jeevandan’ website, to facilitate patients needing organs to register themselves, will also be launched in a few days time. NIMS has appointed transplant coordinators and other teaching hospitals are expected to follow suit.

Doctors say the TN cadaver organ donation programme is enabling hospitals in Chennai to conduct at least 10 organ transplants a month. “The Chennai Government hospitals alone are conducting three to four organ transplant surgeries a month. ‘Jeevandan’ model should be developed along those lines,” doctors observed.