Lack of organ donations leaves patients waiting for years

While the need for organ transplantation remains high, donations, particularly cadaver donations are few, leaving patients waiting for years.

Hari, a patient in Thrissur, has been awaiting a liver transplant for four years, said his wife. He was diagnosed with liver issues in 2006. Four years ago, they were informed that he would need a transplant, but have been unable to find a donor, leaving them with financial problems stemming from the illness, she said. She was speaking at an online awareness session organised by the Institute of Medicine and Law.

In Kerala, there have been 879 organ transplantations and only 321 cadaver donations from 2012 to 2020.

Kiran, a liver transplant recipient in Kochi, said finding donors could be an ordeal. The procedure, involving extensive paperwork, is strenuous. Besides, liver transplants are mostly being done in the private sector, which can cost between ₹21 lakh and ₹30 lakh, he said. At a government facility, it costs only ₹1 lakh to ₹1.5 lakh, but even the Government Medical College Hospital in Thiruvananthapuram has not been doing liver transplant surgeries, he said.

Dr. Noble Gracious, State nodal officer, Kerala Network for Organ Sharing, said liver transplant surgeries would resume soon at the hospital.

Mahendrakumar Bajpai, Supreme Court lawyer, said a uniform definition of death was the need of the hour. Brain-stem death must be delinked from organ donation, he said.

Sumana Navin of Mohan Foundation, a Chennai-based NGO, stressed the role that transplant coordinators played in hand-holding patients through the various options before them.

(Patient names have been changed to protect their identities)

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Printable version | Mar 1, 2021 7:15:09 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/lack-of-organ-donations-leaves-patients-waiting-for-years/article33621549.ece

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