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Organ donation at all-time high; public hospitals perform poorly

This year’s number for Mumbai stands at 70 against 48 in 2018

In a boost to the organ donation drive, the number of donations in Mumbai has touched 70 this year. In 2018, the city saw 48 deceased organ donations and the figure stood at 60 in 2017. While the programme has performed exceptionally well this year, participation from public hospitals in terms of declaring brain deaths and facilitating donations has been nil.

Dr. S.K. Mathur, president of Zonal Transplant Coordination Centre (ZTCC), said it has been a team effort. “One of the most important developments this year has been forming a sub-committee of intensivists who began driving the programme with a new focus. Our transplant coordinators and other team members have been working for a long time but this new addition helped.”

Dr. Mathur said the ZTCC is now working to form a sub-committee of neurologists, neurosurgeons and neuro-physicians who can also push the programme further. The 70th and the most recent organ donation was from a 75-year-old man who was declared brain dead at Nanavati Max Hospital in Vile Parle. His wife and son consented to donate his organs.

According to Dr. Mathur, when the programme started in 1997, all the donations in the first three years were from public hospitals: KEM, Sion and Nair. Public hospitals witness a large number of ICU deaths and timely identification of brain dead patients who can be potential donors can lead to more donations. “The participation from public hospitals is a complex issue. All the public hospitals need to have robust and advanced transplant facilities so that the people involved can become a party to the organ donation programme,” he said.

Dr. Mathur said in the initial three years, doctors in the public sector who were motivated to do transplants drove the programme. “The same needs to happen now.”

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