Donor-recipient gap widening

The gap between the number of organ donors and recipients is increasing in the city

Written by TANBIR DHALIWAL | Chandigarh | Published: August 7, 2013 2:20 am

The gap between the number of organ donors and recipients is increasing in the city. With people reluctant to donate organs,about 8,000 patients are waiting for corneal transplant,while 500 are waiting for kidney transplants at the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER).

At PGIMER,transplantations of kidney,cornea,bone marrow,liver and the heart are conducted. According to an official,PGI is planning to include other organs like pancreas,lungs and skin for transplantation as well.

Doctors at PGI have performed 4,000 corneal transplant,70 kidney transplant surgeries,8 liver and latest one heart transplant surgery from cadaver (post-death) donations.

Talking about liver transplant,Dr Ajay Duseja,Hepatology department said,“Liver transplants are of two types,Living Donor Liver Transplant (LDLT) and Deceased Donor Liver Transplant (DDLT). In the former,donor is a living relative of compatible blood group and part of his/her liver is taken and transplanted in the recipient body. In DDLT,liver donor is a brain-dead patient.”

The doctor added that LDLT is not ideal as one is putting the life of the donor at risk. It is performed mostly in private hospitals and costs about Rs 20-30 lakh.

“At PGI,we only perform DDLT surgery and accept liver from brain-dead people. It costs about Rs 6-7 lakh and is much safer,” he said.

Since 1973,2,700 renal (kidney) transplants have been done at PGIMER,out of which 70 donors were brain-dead patients.

Dr Amit Gupta,associate professor at Advanced Eye Care Centre,PGIMER said,“India has the largest population of visually-impaired people in the world. Every year,up to 50,000 people go blind due to various corneal diseases. Many of these can be helped if they undergo corneal transplant.”

At PGIMER,58,800 people have pledged their eyes since 1992,but the turn out is very less.

Dr Gupta added,“10-12 people register their names for cornea transplant daily,leading to about 300 new names in a month at Eye Care Centre. Contrary to the demand,on an average 20 transplants are possible in a month because of the dearth of eye donors.”

The problem of scarcity of donors is prevalent at the national level as well. As per the information provided by Press Information Bureau ‘nationwide,about 2.1 lakh people require kidney transplants,but only 3,000-4,000 kidney transplants are done. The situation is not very different in relation to heart transplants. While annually around 4,000-5,000 patients require a heart transplant,so far only 100 heart transplants have been conducted across the country.”

According to the National Programme for Control of Blindness (NPCB) 2012-13 report,only 4,417 corneas were available in 2012-13 against the requirement of 80,000-1,00,000

per year.

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