Organ transplant called off after donor infant suffers cardiac arrest

For organ donation, brain-stem death is required.

| Mumbai | Updated: December 9, 2017 2:51:47 am
Woman gets a fresh start after lung transplant surgery The woman was operated upon at the Heart and Lung Transplant Centre of Excellence in Chennai. (Representational Photo)

Even as the state and national organ registries scanned for recipients to transplant organs of a three-month-old Amravati infant who had been declared brain dead and found two children in New Delhi and Gurgaon who could benefit with the donation, the one-of-its-kind cadaver donation had to be called off on Friday after the donor suffered a cardiac arrest.

For organ donation, brain-stem death is required. “In this case, her (Amravati baby’s) parents were keen on donating her organs. But today (on Friday), at 3 am, she suffered a cardiac arrest and despite best efforts, she could not be revived,” said Dr Ravi Wankhede, the secretary of the Zonal Transplant Coordination Centre (ZTCC), Nagpur.
The ZTCC had to call off the procedure on Friday. “She was put on a heart-lung machine to keep the blood circulation on. Blood circulation is necessary when organs are harvested. But even the best efforts could not help revive the heart. The parents wished to see their baby’s heart pump in another child,” Wankhede added.

A doctor said it was a rare case because of the donor’s age.  Meera Savarkar, the three-month-old infant born to a doctor couple from Amravati, met with an accident on December 3. Her father, Dr Umesh Savarkar, escaped with minor injuries and her mother, Ashwini, was seriously injured. The child was declared brain-dead on Thursday
at the Central India’s Children Hospital Research Institute (CICHRI), Nagpur.

The child’s parents insisted on donating all her organs. The Regional Organ and Tissue Transplant Organisation (ROTTO) did not find a compatible recipient and the National Organ and Tissue Transplant Organisation (NOTTO) was asked to look for a match.

On Thursday, a three-year-old child, wait-listed with Max Super Specialty Hospital, Saket, in New Delhi, for kidney was found compatible and another child who had been wait-listed with Medanta hospital, Gurgaon, was found compatible for liver transplant. A team from New Delhi and Gurgaon was slated to arrive in Nagpur on Friday to harvest the baby’s organs.

The baby underwent a series of medical tests on Thursday, including apnea test, to certify her brain dead. A second test, conducted 24 hours later, was slated for Friday morning. According to the Nagpur hospital, Meera needed ventilator support when she was shifted from the Amravati hospital. But she did not respond to treatment.

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