Cadaver Transplantation in India – 1995-2001
This issue carries the National figures of Cadaver Transplantation done from our country. In the last two years there have been just over 110 cadaver organ transplants. The comparison of the figures is given below:
OCTOBER 1999 JUNE 2001
Kidney 272 377
Heart 26 34
Liver 11 12
Lung 1 1
Pancreas 1 1
The figures are nothing much to talk about or be proud off, the only heartening aspect of this review is to see that the list of hospitals conducting the cadaver activity in our country is slowly growing. Most of them seem to be private or semi private hospitals. In time to come some of these hospitals are likely to become an example for the rest of the country to follow. The government hospitals which have the largest pool of ‘Brain Dead’ patients haven’t taken much initiative to push this program forward. Is it due to lack of resources to maintain ‘Brain Dead’ patients or lack of interest in organising a multi organ retrieval. Organizing such a retrieval requires not only and certification of ‘Drain Dead’ donor but also distribution of organ for transplantation. This task can sometimes amount to organizing major events, more so for someone who has never undertaken it in the past. Unless many small teams work together in harmony it is difficult to orchestrate the whole exercise. Perhaps a joint initiative is needed where the private hospital can help the government sector hospital in making the cadaver programme feasible in their setting. In a recent discussion in Chennai, the government hospital doctors expressed their complete helplessness in sharing organs with private hospitals unless a directive was received from the Health Minister’s secretariat. One of the fears is backlash that may follow if these Govt. Hospitals were to share organs with private hospitals. After all, private hospitals will charge for their services of carrying out such a transplant. How can this FAUX PAS between the government and private hospitals to be resolved? Perhaps some kind of barter system can be evolved or no fee be charged by the private hospitals for such transplants. As per the government regulation the private hospitals are expected to give 10% of their beds free to the patients. Apparently in Mumbai there is a common forum for both government and private hospitals and they haven’t expressed in this problem. More views on this subject would be highly welcome from the transplant community.
Writing about cadaver transplant figures I was surprised when I came across an interesting article entitled “The Asian Transplant Registry update” in Transplant Proceedings (Feb-March 2001, Page 1989-93). It indicates that during the period 1995 to 1999 there were 491 cadaver kidneys, 22 livers, 49 hearts that were transplanted in India. I do not know the source of this information; however I am certain that these figures are grossly inaccurate. At the ITN, as a policy we do not accept figures from hospitals unless they are verified and signed by the consultant in-charge and as far as we know the figures published in this issue are as close as one can get to the actual national figures from India.
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- Keywords: Cadaver, 1995-2001