External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj, 64, was shifted from intensive care unit to a private room on Tuesday, three days after she underwent a kidney transplant at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) on Saturday.
“Mrs Sushma Swaraj ... has shown steady recovery and has been shifted out of ICU today,” a press statement from the hospital read.
During the recovery process, she will be monitored by a team of transplant surgeons, nephrologist, cardiologist, endocrinologist, pulmonologist, anaesthetists and critical-care experts, physiotherapists and specialised transplant nurses.
The minister had been admitted to AIIMS on November 7 with kidney failure and was undergoing dialysis. She underwent a transplant surgery on December 10 after all the necessary immunological tests were done and a donor match was found.
The donor was unrelated to the minister and clearances had to be obtained from an authorisation committee. Swaraj’s daughter wanted to donate but was found to be medically unfit for donation.
To prevent organ trafficking, India’s Transplantation of Human Organs Act allows transplantations to be done only in hospitals registered with the government, and live transplants (such as kidneys) only from close relatives, such as the parents, siblings, children or spouse.
Cadaver and altruistic donations, such as in Swaraj’s case, are allowed only after being screened by an authorisation committee – which has a government representative -- to ensure the donors was not forced or paid.
Over 1.5 lakh people suffer end-stage kidney failure in India every year and need a transplant, but barely 3,500 find donors.