Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) in Chandigarh has come up with policy guidelines to streamline organ donation from brain dead patients.
It would now be mandatory for all intensive care units (ICU) and emergency departments at the PGI to identify patients who are potentially brain dead and ask for consent from the family for organ donation.
Brain death is the irreversible end of all brain activity due to total death of the cells of the central nervous system.
The list of patients requiring organ replacement is getting longer but there is a dearth of organ donors.
As the PGI gets at least one brain dead patient a day, it has huge potential to run a life-saving organ transplant programme based on donation from such patients.
As per the guidelines framed in a meeting last month chaired by PGI director Dr YK Chawla and attended by doctors of nephrology, hepatology, anatomy, renal transplant surgery, ophthalmology and hospital administration, brain dead patients must be given the first available ventilator (life-support system) in the main ICU, the Advanced Trauma Centre and the emergency medical ward.
As for deceleration of brain death of a patient admitted in a hospital other than the PGI, a team of the institute's doctors can do it only once the patient is shifted to the PGI.
It has also been decided that a separate register be maintained for all brain dead patients in all ICUs and emergency units and wards of the institute, and cases of consent for organ donation should be notified to the medical superintendent's officer every month.