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Pioneering nephrologist, patriot ‘who cared’ for his country, HL Trivedi dies

In 1991, when former IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt was being investigated on charges of custodial torture that allegedly killed one person in Jamnagar, Dr Trivedi was among the few doctors who had ruled out death due to torture.

Written by Sohini Ghosh | Ahmedabad | Updated: October 3, 2019 10:44:09 am
HL Trivedi, HL Trivedi nephrologist, HL Trivedi death Ahmedabad, HL Trivedi Padma Shri, Gujarat news, Gujarat city news Dr Hargovind Laxmishanker Trivedi receives the Padma Shri on April 8, 2015 from President Pranab Mukherjee at the Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi. (File)

Renowned nephrologist, immunologist and stem cell researcher Padma Shri Dr HL Trivedi (87) breathed his last on Wednesday afternoon after being on life support for nearly two months and under critical care.

He had been admitted at Kidney Hospital in the city since July 20 in critical condition. He had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease nearly two-and-half years ago and since then had various age-related ailments.

Dr Trivedi’s body will be kept at the Institute of Kidney Disease and Research (IKDRC-ITS) premises from 8 am To 11 am on Octo-ber 3 so that people can pay their respects before he is cremated.

Founder and director of the same hospital in which he died, Kidney Hospital, which comes under the ambit of Civil Hospital, Dr Trivedi achieved pioneering feats in reconstructive surgery of the kidney using laparoscopic techniques.

With his work extensively focused on kidney transplantation, as reflected in research papers co-authored by him and published as recently as 2017, Dr Trivedi believed that the best and most cost-effective treatment for end-stage renal disease patients was living donor kidney transplantation, compared to deceased donor kidney transplant and long-term dialysis.

He was a proponent of the fact that every attempt should be made to promote living donor kidney transplantation and discussed various options to expand living donor and deceased donor pool for kidney transplantation.

Meanwhile, he went on to establish a dialysis centre network in every district hospital across Gujarat, aided by the state government, to make the treatment accessible to everyone, a press release by IKDRC-ITS said.

A pioneer in stem cell research and transplantation, Dr Trivedi’s leadership at IKDRC also saw techniques used to generate blood cells from stem cells in kidney transplant recipients.

Dr Trivedi completed his MBBS at BJ Medical College in Ahmedabad and moved to Ohio in the USA for his residency. Subsequently working in Canada for more than seven years (1969-1977), at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, he founded the “Hamilton Organ Procurement Program” (HOPE) there in 1974. This was the world’s first such programme, said Dr Aruna Vanikar, director in-charge at IKRDC-ITS.

Dr Trivedi moved back to India in 1977, at the call of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, and went back to his alma mater to establish an institute of kidney diseases, initially serving as professor of medicine (Nephrology), at BJ Medical College, Civil Hospital, Ahmedabad.

A press release by Dr Vanikar, stated, “He established the world’s largest institute of kidney diseases and research centre in Ahmedabad. With 400 indoor beds, the institute is performing the highest number of kidney transplants, close to 400 every year. He also developed liver transplantation programme with the help of Professor Carl Groth, Nobel Assembly Chairman and liver transplant surgeon at Sweden.”

In 2016, assisting the state in tackling the kidney transplant racket in Gujarat, Dr Trivedi, who was director of IKDRC, offered to cooperate with the authorities and explain the kidney transplant procedure followed there.

“It was his sincere desire to leave the message to the world: If anyone wants to remember me, it should be as the physician who cared for his patients and a patriot who cared for his country,” stated the press release.

Dr Trivedi has treated several politicians as well as relatives of politicians across party lines, apart from bureaucrats and industrialists. Erstwhile Congress leader and freedom fighter JB Kripalani and renowned Gujarati novelist Manubhai Pancholi, were among the many who were treated by Dr Trivedi.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted, “Dr. HL Trivedi was a stalwart of the medical world. He made a mark as an excellent doctor, known for his dexterity and compassion. His work in nephrology will ensure better health for several people in the times to come. Pained by his demise. Condolences to his family. Om Shanti.”

Chief Minister Vijay Rupani too tweeted, “Saddened by the demise of Dr. H. L. Trivedi – Director of G. R. Doshi and K. M. Mehta Institute of Kidney Diseases and Research Centre (IKDRC). I pray for the departed soul. I express my deepest condolences to his family and friends. Om Shanti…”

Dr Trivedi is survived by his wife, Sunita Trivedi.

Gave key opinion in Sanjiv Bhatt case

In 1990, when former IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt was being investigated on charges of custodial torture that allegedly killed one person in Jamnagar, Dr Trivedi in 1991, then working at the Post Graduate Training Centre for Nephrology and Urology at BJ Medical College and Civil Hospital, Ahmedabad, was among the few doctors who had ruled out death due to torture. He was of the opinion that there was no laboratory evidence for the presence of rhabdomyolysis (kidney failure caused due to direct or indirect injury or damage to skeletal muscle) for the deceased.

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