Awareness on organ donation on the rise

Special Correspondent
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Dr. Swarnalatha, in-charge of Jeevandaan, in the city on Wednesday.-Photo: A. Manikanta Kumar
Dr. Swarnalatha, in-charge of Jeevandaan, in the city on Wednesday.-Photo: A. Manikanta Kumar

Awareness among people about the need to donate organs of brain dead persons to give life to more than one patient is increasing, in-charge of Jeevandaan, the cadaver transplantation programme of Government of Andhra Pradesh, and a nephrologist of NIMS G. Swarnalatha said here on Wednesday.

“Earlier doctors were informing us about availability of cadaver transplantation (information about brain dead persons) but now people are calling us. This is a good change in people’s perceptions”, Dr. Swarnalatha said. She was in the city to participate in an awareness programme for cadaver transplant coordinators organised by the Care Hospitals. The programme was organised to mark the completion of one year of city’s first cadaver heart and renal transplantations done at the hospital.

The Jeevandaan GO was issued in 2010 and after two years of ground work NIMS was made the nodal agency and the cadaver transplantations under Jeevandaan actually commenced in 2013. So far organs had been harvested from 36 brain dead persons. Four of them were in Visakhapatnam, two in Vijayawada and the remaining in Hyderabad. From the 36 brain dead persons, 57 kidneys, 31 livers, one heart and one lung were harvested and transplanted in other needy patients.

“Harvesting from 36 brain dead persons was done after family members of more than 200 brain dead persons were counselled”, she said.

She can be contacted on her mobile 99 08 66 24 48, Dr. Swarnalatha said.

After Jeevandaan was established (during the tenure of nephrologist T. Raviraju as Director of Medical Education) it was made mandatory that information about brain dead person be passed to it. Jeevandaan has a list of patients seeking organ transplantation and organs harvested from the brain-dead persons will be allotted according to the list.

The recipient patient has to bear the expenses of surgery, she said.

Benefits for donors

A suggestion to provide some benefits to the family of donors is being worked and the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Arogyasri health insurance scheme was also explained the importance of organ transplantation that saves the life of a patient and the need to include it in the scheme, Dr. Swarnalatha said.

Nearly 90,000 out of the 1.40 lakh who die in road accidents are brain dead and several lakh patients need organ transplantation, said Medical Director of Care Hospitals G.S.R. Murty.

Organ transplantation picked up during the last few years though it was a costly affair. Preserving the body of a brain dead person was expensive and also needed a critical care team to be present all the time.

The brain dead person’s BP and hormone levels have to be kept steady and a lot of people were required to keep the organs intact till they were harvested, said cardio-thoracic surgeon P.V. Satyanarayana. Nephrologist Kalyan Chakravarthy was also present.

Organs from four brain-dead persons were harvested and transplanted in the city during the last one year.

K. Srinivas, son of Pydiraju whose kidneys and corneas were donated after he became brain dead due to high BP, said he decided to donate organs of his father on his own since he knew the need and importance of cadaver transplant having working in a private hospital for the last 15 years.

  • So far organs had been harvested from 36 brain dead persons

  • Organ transplantation is a costly affair

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