26 May 2011
This is a worrying trend as the number of patients waiting for organs continues to increase. "There are 200–plus patients waiting for a kidney currently in our waitlist and many might die due to its non–availability," says Dr S Saharia, kidney transplant surgeon, Krishna Institute of Medical Sciences. According to him, last year, at least 50 per cent of the families who had brain–dead relatives in the hospital had agreed to donate the organs. But this year, only 25 per cent agreed to take the step so far.
"Normally, hospitals inform us about the brain deaths. This year, we were informed about just five incidents," says K Raghuram, CEO, Mohan Foundation, the NGO in the state that facilitates cadaver transplants. "In the last few months we got at least four requests for liver and kidney from patients but our hands are tied," he added.
While there are 8–10 braindead patients every day in different ICUs of city hospitals, very few families come forward to donate the organs.
On the other hand, nearly 10–12 people succumb every day awaiting vital organs. Dr R V Raghavendra Rao, liver transplant surgeon at Global Hospital says the awareness has to improve. "If the government appoints organ transplant counsellors like in Tamil Nadu, things will change for the better," he said, adding that Global has 30 people waiting for a liver transplant currently.
Doctors also say that there is lack of participation from government hospitals like Gandhi, Osmania and Nims, which on an average report 5–10 deaths a day each due to accidents and other causes.
Though the state government had plans to promote cadaver transplantations by easing the organ retrieval norms and by appointing a centralised agency to streamline the organ allocations on a priority basis with Nims as the nodal agency, till date, this exercise has remained on paper. The Jeevandan scheme mooted in 2009 has not seen the light of the day.