International Conference of Transplant Coordinators and Pre-Conference of the 8th National Bioethics Conference of Forum for Medical Ethics Society 2020
The 2020 edition of the Annual Conference of Transplant Coordinators organised by the Network & Alliance of Transplant Coordinators(NATCO) and MOHAN Foundation was an international conference and also the Pre-Conference of the 8 National Bioethics Conference of Forum for Medical Ethics Society. It was held on 21 and 22 November2020 in a virtual format and consisted of key lectures on the World Brain Death Project and its application in India, Impact of COVID-19 pandemic on organ donation and transplantation, and Women in Transplants.
Dr. Kandamaran Krishnamurthy from Barbados gave an introduction tothe Whole Brain Death Project (WBDP). In 2020, the WBDP developed consensus criteria on diagnosing brain death/death by neurological criteria (BD/DNC) with the goal to harmonise practices across the world. The WBDP document recommends that BD/DNC be defined as “the complete and permanent loss of brain function as defined by an unresponsive coma with loss of capacity for consciousness, brainstem reflexes, and the ability to breathe independently.” Dr. Kapil Zirpe spoke about the application of WBDP in India. The issues in the country ranged from variable clinical practice and poor concept of potential donor to a weak legal system and understanding of the law. He emphasised that BD/DNC first and foremost is a clinical determination. Further, the WBDP recommends that an assessment for determination of BD/DNC be made in all persons with devastating brain injuries who are believed to potentially meet criterial for BD/DNC regardless of whether or not they are potential organ donors.
Transplant coordinators spoke of their experiences related to organ allocation, donations during the COVID-19 pandemic, their first donation and various ways of supporting their patients to undergo transplants. Dr. Ben Ivory and Ms. Jill Featherstone's session on 'Communication from behind the mask' covered the strategies the National Health Service Blood and Transplant, UK adopted to talk about organ donation in ICUs and in wards during the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Manisha Sahay, Professor and Head, Department of Nephrology, Osmania Medical College & Osmania General Hospital, Hyderabad outlined the protocol for transplantation in pandemic times in India. She stressed the necessity to check for access to drugs before transplant. Dr. Sandeep Attawar's talk on 'Indications for Lung Transplants' was an eye-opener with respect to patients needing lung transplantation postCOVID-19 infection. Dr. Susan Gunderson highlighted how USA has been managing transplantation during the COVID-19 pandemic. A comparison of the COVID-19 donation protocols followed in the United States and India was a learning experience for the delegates. Dr. Nithya Krishnan, UK gave a talk on pregnancy post kidney transplant.
The 'Women in Transplantation' section featured Dr. Nancy Ascher, USA, Dr. Lori West, Canada, Dr. Vasanthi Ramesh and Mrs. Lalitha Raghuramfrom India. They spoke about not shying away from the challenges in the field of organ donation and transplantation and striving to make a difference. The conference was supported by Tata Trusts, SBI Foundation and the Zonal Transplant Coordination Centre, Pune.
- Copyright © 2021. Published by MOHAN Foundation
- Keywords: Annual Conference of Transplant Coordinators, Network & Alliance of Transplant Coordinators(NATCO), Bioethics Conference of Forum for Medical Ethics Society, World Brain Death Project, Women in Transplantation, National Health Service Blood and Transplant