‘TRANSTAN only puts out priority list, transplant recipient finalised by hospitals’

Member secretary responds on the process of organ donation and allocation in the State

June 19, 2018 01:11 am | Updated 01:11 am IST - Chennai

As the debate continues about whether there has been ethical allocation of cadaveric heart among foreign and Indian recipients, R. Kanthimathy, member secretary, Transplant Authority of Tamil Nadu (TRANSTAN) clarifies some points about the process of organ donation and allocation in the State.

She explained that a hospital coordinator counsels the relatives of a patient once first breath apnoea is positive. If they agree to donate organs, then a potential donor alert is given to TRANSTAN whose case coordinator then sends alerts to probable recipient hospitals, giving them enough time to coordinate the logistics. Six hours from the first breath apnoea, a second test is done to reconfirm brain stem death. Then the organ allocation process is started by TRANSTAN case coordinators based on protocol, committee meetings and government orders.

While TRANSTAN only puts out the priority list, the recipient is finalised by the recipient hospitals, she added. The list of patients waiting for heart and lung transplant is given by the recipient hospitals and TRANSTAN coordinators then put up the priority list based on the date of registration of the patient.

The heart and lung stakeholder hospitals are responsible for the selection of the recipient. TRANSTAN, in the last four months, has been following a protocol in which the recipient hospitals have to give a ‘decline’ message stating that no Indian patient has been overlooked if an international patient is to be the recipient. TRANSTAN does not match a donor with a recipient, Dr. Kanthimathi said.

On the transplant registry, she said it is being done by a NGO for the government. The responsibility of updating and maintaining the current list of recipients is with the recipient hospital and is verified by TRANSTAN coordinators.

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