A timely cadaver liver transplant early this month saved the life of a 34-year-old Jain monk who was suffering from acute liver failure because of a Hepatitis B infection. Dharmaguna Jain, 34, had lost hope until the relatives of a 50-year-old brain-dead man agreed to a cadaver donation.
“She would have not survived if the cadaver kidney donation had not taken place,” said Dr AS Soin, chief liver transplant surgeon at Jupiter hospital.
Experts said people were getting comfortable with the concept of cadaver donations; evident from the fact that this year Mumbai has recorded the maximum number of kidney and liver donations since 2008, according to figures from the Zonal Transplant Coordination Centre (ZTCC).
There has been a two-fold rise in cadaver kidney donations from 16 in 2008 to 37 this year. Similarly, the number of liver donations has increased to 15 this year compared to three in 2008. Also, as PD Hinduja Hospital, Mahim, started a lung transplant facility early this year, there have been two successful lung transplant procedures.
“The education and awareness level of patients’ relatives is better now,” said Dr Gautama Ramakanthan, head of transplant centre, Jupiter Hospital.
“This year, mandals adopted the theme of organ donations, creating better awareness,” said Bhavna Shah, transplant coordinator, Jaslok Hospital, Peddar Road.
In September, the state health department in an effort to boost the cadaver organ transplant programme in the city had also issued government notifications allowing nursing homes to register as retrieval centres.
“But, we still have patients who die waiting for a liver,” said Dr Chetan Kantharia, liver transplant surgeon, KEM Hospital, Parel. Kantharia said public hospitals that handle the most accidental death victims should come forward and declare such patients.