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Wives’ kidney swap gives two men a fresh lease of life

61-year-old S B Ram was battling for survival in Delhi for over a year, while Sant Ram (58) was too suffering from a kidney disease.

By: Press Trust of India | New Delhi |
Updated: September 7, 2014 4:05:55 pm

Two women gave a fresh lease of life to each other’s husband, who were suffering from severe renal disease, by donating their organ in a ‘kidney swap transplant’ surgery in the national capital.

61-year-old S B Ram, an Engineer at SAIL, Bokaro was battling for survival in Delhi for over a year, while Sant Ram (58) a senior official of NDMC here was too suffering from chronic kidney disease.

Both were on dialysis for two years and ran from pillar to post in search of a kidney donor, after they both failed the compatibility test within their respective family. “We were introduced to a donor family in Delhi who were also facing similar problem. It was a surreal moment for us. We mutually agreed to do a paired donation in which my mother (Urmila) gave her kidney to Sant Ram, while his wife Ganga Devi donated her kidney to my father,” said an elated Priyaranjan, son of the SAIL Engineer.

A dedicated team of specialists carried out a 10-hour long ‘kidney swap transplant’ or ‘paired donation’ surgery at BLK Super Specialty Hospital, Pusa Road where an active organ registry is maintained.

Dr Sunil Prakash, Senior Consultant and Director of Nephrology at BLK hospital said, “Both patients had high sugar levels and a week before surgery one patient developed multiple abscesses and boils which had to be drained out. This delayed the transplant operation. Both patients had very low platelet counts, which was a major challenge for the team.

“One of them had a bleeding disorder in which the immune system destroys platelets which had to be treated before transplant. There were very high chances of bleeding during and after the operation. However, our team was equipped by all means to handle any complexity arising during or after the surgery,” he added.

Priyaranjan said he consulted Dr Prakash, who guided them through swap option available for transplant, following which he shifted his father to the hospital. On an average there are about 1.5 lakh kidney failure patients every year and only 7,000 to 8,000 transplants are carried out annually in the country.

Such paired transplants open up unique opportunities for matchmaking between donors and recipients from different families, thus helping save more lives with kidney failures, the doctor said.

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