While Mumbai’s private hospitals received around 30 cadaver donations last year, the city’s public hospitals could not manage a single one.
BSES Hospital, Andheri and Jupiter Hospital, Thane, received five cadaver donations each till March 2013, but KEM, Sion and Sir JJ Hospitals failed to convince the families of brain-dead patients to donate the cadaver or organs.
Each cadaver donation can benefit eight people suffering from various end-stage organ failure diseases.
“A transplant programme revolves around money. A majority of private hospitals that identify cadavers also have an active transplant programme with surgeries that cost lakhs of rupees,” said a senior doctor from a private hospital.
However, the city’s public hospitals do not have active transplant programmes and are hence reluctant to identify cadavers and convince the deceased’s relatives to donate their organs.
“Identifying and maintaining cadavers is a major issue. The infrastructure and attitude of the patient’s relatives and doctors is to be blamed for the fewer cadaver donors at public hospitals,” said Dr N Maulik, dean, Sion Hospital.
Another senior doctor from KEM Hospital said they too are busy providing medical care in crowded wards to get involved in the cadaver donation process.
“Identifying donors is not a one-time job. The teams have to conduct a battery of tests on the patient apart from convincing their relatives, which is a time-consuming and tedious process,” said the doctor.
Of the 28 hospitals registered with the Zonal Transplant Coordination Committee, only 10 are active.
Relatives of cadaver donors felicitated in city
mumbai: Relatives of brain-dead patients, who donated their kin’s organs, were felicitated by the Zonal Transplant Coordination Committee (ZTCC) at a function at KEM Hospital on Thursday, Organ Donors Day.
“When we consented to donate my wife’s organs, we were surprised that police officials didn’t know the procedure,” said Piyush Thakar, Vile Parle resident.
To mark Organ Donors Day, ZTCC started an organ donors’ support group, Jeevan Pravah, which plans to undertake awareness campaigns about cadaver organ donation. “These donor families will be ambassadors for the programme,” said Dr Sujata Patwardhan, chief, ZTCC.
Doctors said many donors now tell their relatives they want to donate their organs. “My son told me if anything happens to him, we should donate his organs,” said the mother of 27-year-old Anup Vardam, who was left brain-dead after an accident.
Dr BC Kempipatil of the state health department said, “Bet-ween 2005 and 2013, 30 lakh people died of organ failure in India. We have only one organ donor for every 10 lakh people. There is a demand-supply problem.”