Organ transplant outcomes a secret in Tamil Nadu
CHENNAI, Tamil Nadu: The Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital recently announced it had done its 11th “successful” heart transplant, on a Coimbatore-based auto driver.
But the hospital and state transplant authority, Transtan, have kept secret the survival rates of patients with transplanted organs such as heart, lung, kidney and liver at government hospitals.
Transtan member-secretary Dr R Kanthimathy, pointing out that Tamil Nadu in August 2019 got the best state award for data collection including transplant outcomes.
He also said “We have not just maintained good network of hospitals and waiting list, but we have also done outcome studies.
That showed survival rates of patients after one month, a year, three and five years after transplant in both government and private hospitals, but these statistics are will not be made public.”
Also read: Organ donation policies in Maharashtra ideal
For years, transplant surgeons have been demanding a transparent system, with details of the number of organs received, shared and outcomes of transplants made public.
“Organs are donated by the public with altruistic motive. The authority should tell the government about the outcome,” said former transtan head Dr J Amalorpavanathan.
GH transplant surgeons said the hospital had been doing heart transplants since 2019, but they did not have details on the survival rate.
Senior cardiac transplant surgeon Dr K Balakrishanan said reasons for failure may lead to policy changes.
“Patients will also be aware of possible outcomes when they go in for a surgery like this.”
Transplantation in 2019
Transtan website has no information on the number of people who donated organs in 2019.
In August 2019, Transtan told that the state received organs from 85 donors, there were two heart and lung transplants and two heart transplants done in government hospitals that year.
The number of donors in the state have been on a steady decline since 2016 when there were 185 donors. In 2017, there were 160 donors and 140 in 2018.
The numbers for 2019 are yet to be released by Transtan.
Mohan Foundation, an NGO working for cadaveric organ donation, has published on its webpage that there were 105 donors (source: Tamil Nadu Organ Sharing Network) till November 2019 in the state.