Authorities said the patients underwent emergency procedures which make them vulnerable to a lot of complications

Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital (GH) has stated the deaths of the two patients who underwent renal transplants there were not due to errors made during surgery. The hospital maintained the surgeries were emergency procedures requiring skilled surgeons.

Head of urology R. Jayaraman said, “The cadavers are maintained in a sterile zone on the fifth floor and shifted for transplant from there to the operation theatre on the sixth floor. Cadaver transplants have to be done after 2 p.m. or at night, and they are done only by skilled surgeons. Operation theatres are sterilised after every surgery and we use sterile disposable drapes. The patients underwent emergency procedures which make them vulnerable to a lot of complications.”

According to him, in live donor transplants, the kidney will start functioning immediately and urine output starts while the patient is on the surgery table. In cadaver transplants, the donor may develop metabolic complications as the liver is the first organ to be harvested. “It takes around 2 hours to harvest the kidneys. Hence there will be a delay in the functioning of grafted kidneys,” Dr. Jayaraman explained.

N. Gopalakrishnan, head of nephrology department, said death within 24 hours of transplant was not caused by infection but complications induced by issues such as dialyses. “Usually, such patients may have been on dialysis for long periods and could also suffer from cardiac problems,” he said.

Citing statistics to prove their point, hospital authorities said since 2008, when the cadaver transplant programme was started at the hospital, of the 126 persons who underwent transplant, 93 are alive.

“Even the 33 dead patients are classified as those who died within a year and after a year of surgery,” said Dean V. Kanagasabai.

A total of 15 persons had died after a year of surgery due to complications such as cardiac problems, stroke and infection.

A total of 18 persons had died within a year of surgery. Dr. Kanagasabai said so far six patients had died within 24 hours of transplant and four others had died within a week of surgery. Two patients had died within a month and six others had expired within a year of surgery.

He insisted the hospital’s performance has been good at the national level. The doctors have proposed to publish the data in peer reviewed medical journals.

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Two patients die after kidney transplants at GHSeptember 18, 2013