Public hospitals lag in organ donation, JJ, Nair never had any

Written By Unknown on Sabtu, 28 Maret 2015 | 22.23

MUMBAI: BMC commissioner Sitaram Kunte on Friday pledged his organs and even made his deputies emulate the gesture. But cadaver-donation activists are skeptical if it will be enough of a push for the public sector to finally start making its critical contribution to the city's cadaver donation pool.

Of the record 41 cadaver donations in the city last year, barely two came from KEM Hospital, Parel. Of all civic-run hospitals, including three tertiary and 18 peripheral, KEM was the only one to identify 50 brain stem deaths in 2014, while Sion Hospital managed to do four despite handling the highest number of trauma cases in the city. Identifying and reporting such patients to the state was made mandatory in 2012.

None of the four families at Sion consented for organ donation. BYL Nair, Mumbai Central, did not identify a single brain dead patient. The state-run 170-year-old JJ Hospital, Byculla, has never carried out a cadaver donation.

Dr Suhasini Nagda, director of major BMC hospitals, assured TOI that the situation in BMC hospitals will change as the civic body plans to hire dedicated transplant coordinators. "The challenges of converting brain stem deaths to successful organ donations are varied," she said. KEM's dean Dr Avinash Supe said public hospitals primarily cater to a section of society that is unaware about organ donation. "It therefore gets tough to get consent," he said. Supe said the fact that public hospitals also deal with a lot of accident cases makes things tougher from the medico-legal perspective.

Dean of JJ Hospital Dr TP Lahane said people, even from rural areas, are willing to donate eyes, but not organs. "If we push too much, the relatives misread our intentions and even get violent. Private hospitals have an advantage over us as they cater to the educated," he said.

The Zonal Transplant Coordination Committee (ZTCC) that distributes cadaver organs feels the state's involvement should go beyond insisting on hospitals to report brain stem deaths. The ZTCC has sent several proposals asking the state to provide funds since 1995, to no avail. At the sidelines of an event at Asian Heart Hospital on Friday, where organ donor families were felicitated, Dr Sujata Patwardhan said they have demanded a monthly expenditure of Rs 65,000 from the state, but are waiting for a response. President of ZTCC Dr Gustad Davar said the state also needs to look into the cost aspect of maintaining a patient in an organ retrieval non-transplant centre and offer solutions. hospitals,Organ donation,Nair,JJ

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