Gurugram: The state and central governments taking a number of initiatives to boost organ donations in the city, residents are coming forward to take the pledge.
The number of patients waiting for organs in the city has seen a significant rise from 46 in 2018 to 420 in 2019.
The nation-wide data released by the National Organ and Tissue Transplant Organisation (NOTTO) shows there were 11,958 patients waiting for organs in 2016, over 15,000 patients in 2017 and over 17,000 patients in 2018.
The figures point at the grim reality that the number of people pledging to donate their organs is negligible when compared to the number of patients in need of the organs.
According to the health department data, only 10% of the demand in Gurugram could be met in the private hospitals in 2019 and in all the cases the patients had brought their own donors.
The health department officials also agreed that though Gurugram has emerged as a hub for liver and kidney transplantation, the donors are mostly relatives or friends.
“Organ donation numbers remain dismally low in the region because we do not have a cadaver bank.
We are only relying on live organs. NOTTO is spearheading attempts of change but we need to spread awareness for the cause.
As per NOTTO, Gurgaon has a waiting list of patients for organ donation, but the problem can only be resolved if we have a bank for cadaver donors,” said Sanjay Narula, the nodal officer for organ donation in the civil hospital.
He also pointed out that six private hospitals in the city —Fortis, Artemis, Max, Paras, Narayani and Medanta — cater to at least 500 patients who come from across the world for organ transplant.
“With a view to push the organ donation campaign in the city, we are conducting a joint meeting with the private hospitals on February 10 at Medanta-The Medicity Hospital.
We have appealed to the private hospitals to create a bank for the cadaver donors.
We can only help patients waiting for an healthy organ if we have a bank.
We have asked private hospitals to talk to relatives of their brain dead in-patients and to encourage them to go for organ donation,” Narula said.
Brain stem death (when the brain stops working even as the heart continues to beat) is widely being recognised and certified as a form of death separate from the conventionally understood cardiac death (when the heart stops beating).
Brain stem death declaration is essential for organ donation.
“The private hospitals having ICU will constitute a board that will give a decision on patients with brain steam death.
Once the board confirms this, the doctors or the management will talk to the family members of the patient and get their consent for organ donation,” Narula added.
Meanwhile, the private hospitals are of the opinion that they are working closely with the family members of patients to change the mindset about organ donation.
“In 2019, around 50 liver transplants were performed at Artemis, but unfortunately only one patient received an organ from a deceased (brain dead) donor.
The first positive change is that more and more patients with fatal head injury / stroke are being certified brain dead by neurointensivists / neurophysicians without waiting unnecessarily for the situation to progress to cardiac death,” said Dr Ramdip Ray, joint chief, liver transplant and senior consultant – GI & HPB surgery, Artemis Hospitals, Gurugram.
Doctors pointed out the over 2 lakh patients in India await a kidney and only 15,000 of them end up receiving one.