Call it lack of awareness or reluctance on the part of the family members, in 11 years, only 77 deceased organ donors have come forth in Pune. In a bid to sensitise people on various aspects involving organ donation, a short film, Phir Zindagi, has been made to depict how complicated, time consuming and emotionally draining the process can be.
Directed by the award winning duo, Sumitra Bhave and Sunil Sukhtankar, the 53-minute film will be screened at MES Balshikshan Sanstha Auditorium, Kothrud, on December 4.
The film has a stellar cast of actors known for their ‘close to the bone’ performances—Naseeruddin and Ratna-Pathak-Shah, Vikram Gokhale, Uttara Baokar, Jyoti Subhash, Amruta Subhash, Neeraj Kabi ( Ship Of Theseus & Talwar fame) and Dr Shekhar Kulkarni. The film sheds light on the process of organ donation, explains the protocol to be followed in order to receive an organ from the deceased patient and the importance of enlisting on the Central Waiting List by the recipients.
Organ donation is enabled once the family members of a brain dead patient are counselled to voluntarily agree to donate organs to patients in need.
Solid organs and tissues like liver, kidney, heart, lung, pancreas, cornea, bones and skin can be donated. Deceased organ donation (possible only after brain stem death), also known as cadaver organ donation, gives hope to many sick patients and a chance to lead a fairly normal life again.
A person may be declared brain dead because of a grievous and irreversible brain stem injury either due to a road accident, a fall, stroke or primary brain tumors. Brain death is declared and confirmed only after a six-hour gap, as per the rules, by the government-approved Brain Death Committees of each hospital, Dr Arati Gokhale, coordinator of Zonal Transplant Coordination Committee (ZTCC) Pune, told The Indian Express .
Statistics show that in the last 11 years, there have been just 77 deceased organ donors. Now, with an aim to generate more awareness, the film, a joint collaboration of ZTCC and Praj Foundation, shows how the doctors, ICU staff and transplant coordinator must communicate clearly, patiently and continuously with the relatives in an appropriate manner to ensure a smooth operation.
It also depicts the pivotal role played by the transplant coordinator and medical social worker in convincing the relatives of the brain dead donor and the police personnel, Dr Gokhale added.
In Pune, the entire deceased donor transplant protocol is coordinated by the ZTCC and its specially-appointed central coordinator. The ZTCC Pune is a trust formed under the aegis of the Maharashtra Confederation for Organ Transplants (MCFOT) and the Directorate of Health Services (DHS) Maharashtra to oversee the deceased donor transplant activity in the state.
The list based on pre-determined medical criteria is automatically generated and updated every month. It is programmed to ascribe priority points to the wait-listed patients. This ensures a fair and transparent allocation of precious organs and distribution of the most suitable deceased organ to the most-suitable wait-listed recipient.
Meanwhile, as many as 10 donor families were felicitated by ZTCC at a function held at Poona hospital on Sunday, as part of the National Organ Transplant Day, which was marked on November 27.