Posted on: 24/01/2015

After a lull in the past few years, Mumbai is seeing a healthy rise in the number of organ donation cases. As informed by the Zonal Transplant Coordination Committee (ZTCC, which coordinates between hospitals) - the city witnessed its highest organ donations in 2014 as 41 donors, gifted life to 71 patients with renal failure and 36 with liver failure. The corresponding number of donors in 2013 was 24 out of which 36 kidneys and 19 cadaver livers harvested for transplant and 27 donors in 2012.

In first week of Jan 2015, this  year's first donor, a 66-year-old resident of Worli suffered a massive brain bleed, was admitted to Saifee Hospital, after he collapsed at his workplace. His family was quite knowledgeable and, on learning that he had slipped into brain death, donated his organs.

This became the Mumbai's first cadaver donation this year, when his family gave his liver, kidneys and corneas for organ-failure patients and has given a fresh lease of life to three people. According to the organ-sharing formula adopted by ZTCC-Mumbai, one of the donor's kidneys was given to a patient registered at Saifee Hospital while the other kidney, liver and cornea were given to patients registered at other hospitals.


In second week of Jan 2015, the city witnessed the year's second cadaveric organ donation, when the family of a 73-year-old Bandra resident donated her organs to help organ-failure patients.In this case, the lady  suffered a brain haemorrhage, was admitted to hospital. Within a day, she was declared as brain dead. After this her husband donated her kidneys, liver, corneas and skin. He shared, "My wife had always wanted to donate her eyes. So when I was told that she could donate her other organs as well, I thought she would have been happier to know that she can give more than what she had planned to”.

He  said it was immensely satisfying to know that she is still living through her organ donations for others.

In less than two weeks into 2015, the city recorded its third cadaver donation. This transplant is also of great significance as a non-registered nursing home identified the patient as a potential donor and facilitated the donation.

The 65-year-old Chembur resident gave the gift of life to six individuals in his death. He had suffered sudden intracranial bleeding and once the doctors realized that they may not be able to save his life; his family was aware and keen on donating the deceased's organs.

As transplant is the only cure for patients with organ failure, health experts feel brain death should be recognized and donations should be promoted. Public awareness is necessary, as well as full participation of hospitals to counsel the family and get consent for donation.

Chennai leads in the list of cadaver donors and it manages over 80 such cases every year.

According to the Human Organ Transplant Act, 1994, organ transplants can only be conducted at recognized centres, which can hardly fulfill the city's needs. ZTCC Mumbai, has decided to strengthen the organ donation programme in the non-transplant organ retrieval centres in Mumbai to identify and facilitate donations.

At present, ZTCC has about 600 kidney patients registered with it and an equal number seeking liver transplant. However, the actual number of organs donated is too few in comparison.


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