Indian Transplant Newsletter Vol. I Issue NO.: 3 (June 1999)
Indian Transplant Newsletter.
Vol. I Issue NO.: 3 (June 1999)
Print ISSN 0972 - 1568
Organ preservation is the key to successful organ transplants today. The ancient Egyptians, in a way, kick started the concept of organ storage. The word Mummies and Egypt are synonymous. The mummification of dead bodies took about seventy days. As part of this process, embalming priests removed the liver, lungs, stomach and intestines and stored them in jars called canopic jars.
Surgeons at the Lok Nayak Hospital in Delhi, claim to have used an organ regeneration technique in humans for regrowth of the abdominal wall in incisional hernias and in reconstruction of the urethra. Primitive embryonal stem cells present in the peritoneum were exposed to the right environment in the body to regenerate the desired tissue.
OLDEST ORGAN DONOR
A 77 year old man who gave a kidney to his 51 year old son in October 1998 is believed to be Britain's oldest organ donor. A 75 year old Kidney donor was thought to be previous record holder.
SIMULTANEOUS TRANSPLANTS AT HOSPITAL
Three major organs from a single donor were transplanted into three patients at the same time at Brigham & Women's Hospital in Boston. Two men received new lungs and a woman received a new heart.
XENOTRANSPLANTATION IDEA GAINING SUPPORT
Xenotransplantation is slowly getting the thumbs up from not only physicians, surgeons and transplant recipients but also the American public. In a poll conducted by the National Kidney Foundation of 1200 randomly selected Americans, 62 % accepted the idea of Xenotransplantation.
Some of the other interesting findings that came up were that men had a more positive attitude towards xenotransplantation than women. Also, practitioners of a religious faith and agnostics said that the clergy could influence their acceptance of xenotransplantation. At least half of the transplant physicians surveyed were willing to give xenotransplantation at least ten years before it was required to show success. Most did not see cross species infection as a particularly high risk.
KIDNEYS OFFERED FROM SUICIDE VICTIM
Dr. Jack Kevorkian, the retired Michigan pathologist, who believes in assisted suicide helped a 45- year- old quadriplegic commit suicide in June 1998. He then offered the man’s Kidney for transplantation. A Michigan judge said that Kevorkian would face jail time if he participated in any more assisted suicides.
Kevorkian’s offer to donate the kidneys of the man who died led one of his lawyers to quit. Although attorney Michael Odette said he believes in assisted suicide, he said that Kevorkian “went too far” when he offered suicide victim’s kidneys for transplantation. The Kidneys went unclaimed.
– Associated Press.
LACK OF ORGAN DONATIONS IN JAPAN
In June 1997, Japan passed a new law accepting the concept of brain death and permitting organ donations from persons who have been declared brain dead. Unfortunately, no heart, liver or lung transplantation has taken place since then and the shortage of organs continues.
It is felt that there are loopholes in the law that need to be plugged. For instance, even if a person has been declared brain dead, the family can still stop organs from being removed until after the heart stops beating. Also, a donor’s family can overrule the donor’s written consent to give his or her organs following death. Cultural beliefs and a widespread mistrust of doctors have been held responsible for the lack of organ donations.
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