Doctors treating former Maharashtra chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh, in Chennai, waited for four days to find a liver donor for him, but failed to find a suitable match.
Deshmukh was advised a liver transplant after he was diagnosed with hepatitis B, which led to cirrhosis and cancer. He suffered multi-organ failure and died of a cardiac arrest on Tuesday at 1.40 pm at Global Health City, Chennai.
K Ravindranath, chairman, Global Hospitals, said that Deshmukh's condition was stable for the past three days but unfortunately he did not get a donor. "Every state government was willing to help but we had no donor," Ravindranath said.
According to Dr Mohammed Rela, who was treating Deshmukh, he had a period of three days between August 11 and August 13 when the liver transplant could have been performed.
At least two brain-dead patients whose blood group matched Deshmukh's were identified as possible donors.
However, one of the patients, a 31-year-old road accident victim from Chennai, died of a heart attack before his organs could be harvested.
The second donor was a 49-year-old man admitted to Hinduja Hospital in Mahim. But Deshmukh died before the second patient's organs could be harvested.
"On the morning of August 14, Deshmukh's health started deteriorating rapidly, with oxygen requirement of 100% (he was not breathing on his own) with poor tissue oxygenation," stated a press release issued by Dr Rela.
Deshmukh was transferred to the Chennai hospital from Breach Candy Hospital in Mumbai on August 6 "with rapidly progressive liver failure".
He was very unstable on arrival and required intensive treatment.
However, in the first 48 hours he responded to treatment and his vital signs stabilised though he still required support with heart, lung and kidney functions, the press release added.
Deshmukh was listed with the cadaver donation programme at Tamil Nadu on August 8 in a "super urgent category" which would give him priority to receive an organ.
While Deshmukh's three sons, Amit, Riteish, and Dheeraj, were willing to donate a part of their livers, Dr Rela stated that it was better for Deshmukh to receive a whole organ from a cadaver, than part of an organ from a living donor as "a whole organ aids recovery faster in situations such as this".