In four days,two brain-dead patients gift life to seven

In less than four days,the organs of two persons,who were declared brain-dead after sustaining grievous injuries at the AIIMS Trauma Centre,have been transplanted to help save the lives of seven others.

Written by Pritha Chatterjee | New Delhi | Published: August 20, 2013 2:32 am

In less than four days,the organs of two persons,who were declared brain-dead after sustaining grievous injuries at the AIIMS Trauma Centre,have been transplanted to help save the lives of seven others.

The doctors,however,failed to convince the family of a third accident victim to give consent for organ donation despite having several counselling sessions with the victim’s wife.

A 54-year-old man,who had been admitted to the hospital on August 15 after a road accident,was declared brain dead the same evening. His son,in his 20s,was first approached by the organ transplant coordinators on August 16. He initially refused but agreed when coordinators approached him a day later.

“The family agreed to donate the patient’s liver,kidneys and heart. But they asked us not to take his eyes. He had a cardiac arrest when he was being prepared for donation,so we could not use his heart,but his liver and one of the kidneys were donated to two adults and a child received his second kidney,” Dr M C Misra,chief of AIIMS Trauma Centre,said.

His heart valves and tissues have been retrieved for future use.

“We approach families multiple times,so that patients’ kin get familiar with us. They have doubts like who would receive their loved ones’ organs,and it helps if we slowly warm them to the concept of donation,”a transplant coordinator said.

In the second case,on August 15,the family of a 22-year-old woman,who fell from a height and was declared brain dead at a West Delhi hospital,took the initiative to contact AIIMS and have their daughter’s organs retrieved.

“It was so heartening because we received a call from the family and they came to us with all the patient’s papers to see if her case was suitable for donation,” Dr Arti Vij,chief of the Organ Retrieval and Banking Organisation (ORBO) at AIIMS,said.

The patient was eventually transferred to AIIMS Trauma Centre where the family donated her heart,liver and kidneys,saving four lives. A child received one of her kidneys,while the other organs were transplanted to adult patients in AIIMS.

On the same day,an accident victim in his early 20s,was also rushed to AIIMS Trauma Centre. Doctors treating him realised soon after that his head injuries were far too critical and in a few hours physicians assessed him as brain dead.

His wife,however,refused all requests to donate his organs. “I called the family to my office and tried to convince them. But they did not give their consent,” Dr Misra said.

Doctors said this year has been good for AIIMS in terms of the number of organ donations.

“We got two calls from families of two senior citizens this week,but these were cardiac deaths so we could only retrieve the cornea and heart valves. Our donation rates have improved this year,”

Dr Vij said.

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