PGIMER brain dead organ programme fails to pick up

  • Vishav Bharti, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Mar 09, 2015 12:43 IST

Started with pomp and show, the brain dead organ donation programme, also called deceased donor donation, at the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh, has failed to yield desired results despite efforts.

According to the PGIMER records, in 2014 only 11 kidneys could be harvested from brain dead patients and when it comes to liver, there was only one such donation and not even a single heart could be harvested.

The situation was not much different even in 2013 when 18 kidneys of nine brain dead patients were harvested by the department of renal transplant surgery.

The reason, sources say, is lack of awareness about the concept of brain death in the region.

There is also a lack of coordination among various departments in contacting doctors and attendants of brain dead patients.

Earlier, addressing a workshop on organ donation on Saturday, PGIMER director Prof YK Chawla said there was a huge gap between the need and supply of organs.

Dr RK Dhiman, professor hepatology, said India had one of the lowest rates of organ donation, lower than even a small country like Singapore. “In India, a large number of roadside accidents occur every day and many of these patients unfortunately suffer head injuries and become brain dead, but only a few families give consent to donate organs of their kin who are brain dead,” he said.

Dr Rajesh Chhabra, neurosurgeon, at PGIMER said a brain dead person is equivalent to a dead person and the condition is irreversible. He also emphasised on simple measures for the nursing staff to identify such patients in consultation with physicians. The most difficult part in the process of organ donation is to break the bad news to the family of a brain dead patient.

The deceased donor organ donation programme was started at the PGIMER in 2008. Brain death is a rare phenomenon occurring in about one in 200 hospital deaths.

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