The Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research is all set to start deceased donor organ retrieval by the end of this calendar year, Director of JIPMER T.S. Ravikumar told The Hindu.

For now, JIPMER had received approval for organ retrieval from the Centre and had set up a brain death committee comprising 24 persons who would be responsible for declaring a person brain dead. The institute had also come up with standard operating procedures for brain death declaration, which was released at a function here on Saturday, he said speaking on the sidelines of a workshop on brain death held at JIPMER.

Once they had trained all their staff in various procedures and requirements, they would start the retrieval. At present, they were still taking training and putting evaluations in place, Mr. Ravikumar said.

In the future, there might be an organ-sharing network between hospitals in Puducherry. However, there was no such move at present. Only after setting up standard operating procedures can any hospital start declaring persons brain dead, he said.

The institute was working with the Tamil Nadu government organ distribution system so that no retrieved organ is wasted. If there were organs that could not be used within JIPMER, they would be sent to Tamil Nadu, Head of the Department of Surgical Gastroenterology Biju Pottakat said.

At present, there are nine or 10 potential donors arrive in JIPMER every month, which roughly translates into 45 to 50 transplant surgeries. These organs, once harvested, can either be used at the hospital or sent to Tamil Nadu. Organs such as liver can be transplanted up to 24 hours after retrieval. For the heart, it is eight to 12 hours.

Till now, most hospitals in Puducherry did not have permission or infrastructure to declare a person brain dead. So, if there were any potential donors, they would either have to be transported to Chennai or their organs would be lost. Now, both JIPMER and Pondicherry Institute of Medical Sciences had formed a brain death committee and had the required permissions for retrieval, he said.