Transplant Coordinators' Training Programme Held in April 2011
MOHAN Foundation's one month Tr a n s p l a n t C o o r d i n a t o r s ' Tr a i n i n g Programme started on 18th April 2011. Participants from all across the country - Indore, Nasik, Bhubaneswar, Chandigarh, Delhi, Coimbatore and Chennai – attended the programme, which is supported by the Navajbai Ratan Tata Trust. In addition to the intensive face-to face sessions, the participants also had to work on a project for two weeks.
The first week saw the transplant coordinators being introduced to the structure and function of the human body and the various organs. The structure and function of the brain and cranial nerves was discussed in detail by Dr. Navin Jayakumar. The legal aspects were also introduced with sessions on the Transplantation of Human Organs Act and Rules. The important subject of counselling techniques, qualities of a counsellor and grief counselling were covered by Mrs. Chandni Srinivasan, Clinical Psychologist.
As an ice-breaker to talking about solid organ donation, we had sessions on blood donation (by Dr. Rema Menon, Director- Blood Bank, Apollo Hospitals) and eye donation. A visit to the eye bank at Sankara Nethralaya was organized with the help of Mr. S.V.G. Subramaniam, Senior Executive at the eye bank. A diverse country like ours has different religions and therefore ther eligious and ethical perspectives on organ donation were discussed. As educating the community is an important part of a transplant coordinator's role, sessions on Public Speaking, Making Effective Power point Presentations (by Dr. S. Suresh, Director, MediScan) and Social Marketing (by Prof. Jayaram K. Iyer, LIBA) were held. The job of a transplant coordinator is extremely demanding, so there is a need for stress management. The talk on Spiritual Imperatives by Prof. Chandrashekhar Pandey, LIBA, helped them in this direction.
The second week of the Transplant Coordinators' Training programme began with a Basic Life Support Skills Workshop at TACT Academy. The workshop gave the participants hands-on practice in cardiopulmonary resuscitation, using an Automated External Defibrillator etc. It brought home the fact that saving the lives of others is in the hands of each one of us. In addition, there were sessions on Paediatric brain death (Dr. Bala Ramachandran), Tissue Typing and C r o s s m a t c h ( D r. A n i l a M a t h a n ) ,Transplantation of Human Organs Act and Tamil Nadu Government Orders. A visit to TANKER Foundation's subsidised Dialysis unit was organised to enable the participants to interact directly with patients with Chronic Kidney Disease and understand their need for support.
The Tamil Nadu Government Order on Post mortem was discussed in detail by Dr.J.Amalorpavanathan, Convenor, Cadaver Transplant Programme, Govt. of Tamil Nadu. The topic of organ allocation was dealt with by Mr. C.E. Karunakaran of National Network for Organ Sharing (NNOS). He also took the participants through the Tamil Nadu Cadaver Tr a n s p l a n t Pr o g r a m m e ' s w e b s i t e - http://www.dmrhs.org/tnos/
A whole day was dedicated to the personal experiences of transplant coordinators – both donor and recipient transplant coordinators. Ms. Niveditha Shankaran from Apollo Hospitals and Mr. Nethaji from Global Hospitals interacted with the participants and answered all their queries. MOHAN Foundation's Transplant coordinators, Mr. Sagayam and Ms. Veena, shared their experiences. Ms. Veena also spoke on the Deceased Organ Donation protocol that is followed in the Govt. General Hospital. A glimpse into organ transplantation from living donors was provided by Mr. Satish of Fortis Malar Hospital.
Bone donation is something that not many people are aware of. Dr. Manimaran's session was an eye-opener in this regard. In fact, the country's first Bone Bank was established in the Govt. General hospital in Chennai in 2005. Dr. Jacob Jamesraj spoke on heart and lung transplantation and homografts. C h r o n i c K i d n e y d i s e a s e a n d i t s management, kidney transplantation – the private and government experience, was dealt with by Dr. Suresh and Dr. R. Vijayakumar respectively.
Dr. Deiveegan spoke on Brain death certification and Dr. Venkatachalam on management of a brain dead donor – issues that play a key role in deceased organ donation. Liver transplantation is on the rise in Tamil Nadu with 158 liver transplants being performed from October 2008 to April 2011. Dr. Anand Ramamurthy spoke on the work in this field. Dr.Mahesh Gopasetty spoke on Pancreas transplantation and Dr. V.B.N. Murthy on skin donation. Mrs. Lalitha Raghuram talk elucidated the steps in starting a Deceased organ donation programme in one's hospital. An exhaustive session on grief counseling was held by Mr. R. Veerapandian, Clinical psychologist. Mr. K. Raghuram spoke on the importance of motivation and delineated the role that transplant coordinators play in this programme. On the final day, there was a panel discussion in which Mr. P.W.C. Davidar,IAS, Principal Secretary, Information Technology, Govt. of Tamil Nadu, Dr. Latha Pillai, Pro-Vice Chancellor, Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), Dr. George Kurian, Gastroenterologist, Pondicherry Institute of Medical Sciences, and Mrs. Lalitha Raghuram, Country Director, MOHAN Foundation participated. Mr. Davidar spoke about the importance of getting all stakeholders involved in formulating policy. He said that every obstacle in the deceased organ donation programme is to be viewed as a challenge that could and would be overcome.
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- Keywords: Transplant Coordinator, Training Programme