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Organ donation: Families reluctant, say counsellers

On brighter side, two families donate organs of dead relatives in two days.

Pune |
August 10, 2014 3:41:53 am

Anuradha Mascarenhas

Twenty-seven-year old Ravi’s parents can take solace from the gift of life their son gave after his death, his organs. Married in April, Ravi met with an accident at Satara and was rushed to Ruby Hall Clinic where he did not regain consciousness after brain surgery. On July 29, he was declared brain dead and within three hours, the family was convinced that Ravi would continue to live in five other people.

“One cadaver was able to donate two kidneys, liver and two eyes,” says Dr Abhay Sadre, consultant nephrologist and transplant coordinator at Ruby Hall Clinic.

Days ago, the medical social workers’ department at Deenanath Mangeshkar Hospital convinced the family members of a 55-year-old woman to donate her organs after she was declared brain dead.

“The family members were educated and agreed,” says Dr Prasad Akole, an intensivist at the hospital.

On July 28, she was declared brain dead after intra-cranial bleeding. After family members agreed and within hours, her kidneys, liver and cornea were transplanted to patients.

“These two cases — in a day’s gap — were heartening developments for the Zonal Transplant Coordination Committee creating awareness about organ donation. It is an uphill task convincing family members,” says Arti Gokhale, coordinator of ZTCC, Pune Region. “This year, we had five cadaver donors which led to nine kidney transplants and four liver transplants.

Last year, there were ten cadaver donors,” Gokhale said.

A total of 26 hospitals are authorised as organ transplant and retrieval centres in Pune region and 13 are in Pune, Dr Abhay Huprikar, Secretary of ZTCC , Pune said.

At Ruby Hall Clinic, medico-social worker Surekha Joshi and her team admit it is an arduous job convincing family members. Grief-stricken, most are unwilling to listen. It is only after consistent persuasion that they agree.

At Deenanath Mangeshkar Hospital, medico-social worker Shilpa Barve said there is lack of awareness. Family members refuse.

“The waiting list gets longer at each hospital. In Pune, at least 80-100 live kidney transplants are performed every year,” says Huprikar.

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