Swap transplant brings hope to two families

There is now more awareness about swap transplants, says chairman of State Authorisation Committee for Organ transplantation

March 26, 2022 06:16 pm | Updated 06:16 pm IST - Bengaluru

File image for representation.

File image for representation. | Photo Credit: Getty Images

Two patients, who needed renal transplants after almost four years on dialysis, have found hope in two swap transplants in Bengaluru this month. The transplants took place between two families, who could not donate the organ to their family member because of blood group mismatch.

Pradeep Kumar (48), a graphic designer, wanted to donate his kidney to his wife Roopashree (38), but could not do so due to blood group mismatch. Another patient, Raja (44), an electrician, was going through a similar situation. His wife Ashwini, who wanted to donate her kidney to save her husband’s life, could not do so also due to an incompatible blood group.

But help came to both families through the swap transplants. While Mr. Kumar donated his kidney to Mr. Raja, Ms. Ashwini donated to Ms. Roopashree. The transplants were done on March 10 at Manipal Hospitals (Hebbal) in the city.

The transplant was a success because the male and female from  each couple were willing to undergo laparoscopic surgery, with a kidney donated from an individual who was not compatible with their spouses. “This case exemplifies the success story of recipients — male to male and female to female — of swap couple transplants,” said Manohar T., Consultant Urologist, at the hospital.

Girish N.S., Consultant, Nephrology at the hospital said although the wife (Ms. Ashwini) could not donate to her husband (Mr. Raja) due to compatibility issues, she went ahead to save another woman’s life outside her family. The same conscious decision was taken by a man for another man. Such generous acts will help in expanding the donor pool in the country, he said. 

More awareness

Keshavamurthy R., chairperson of the State Authorisation Committee for organ transplantation, said there is more awareness about swap transplants now. “For many who suffer a renal failure, transplantation is the only medical solution. Although cadaveric donations are on the rise, there is a huge demand-supply gap. Many patients remain on dialysis because they do not find a deceased donor, do not have a family donor, or the family donor that they do have is incompatible. Swap transplants will help minimise the shortfall of kidneys and enable the increase of transplant numbers,” he said.

“Although organ transplantation had been badly hit during the pandemic, the situation has come back to normalcy now. We have approved six transplants in the last one month alone,” Dr. Keshavamurthy added.

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