The article was published in The Free Press Journal, Mumbai, edition dated March 14, 2021.
It was the first to be conducted at Fortis Hospital in Mulund after the lockdown was announced on March 22, 2020; the harvested lungs, liver and kidneys were sent to four hospitals across Mumbai and the corneas were sent to a local Eye Bank.
Mumbai, December 7, 2020: Mumbai witnessed its 29th cadaveric donation at Fortis Hospital, Mulund on December 2, 2020, when the family of a 56-year-old brain dead patient consented to donate their kin’s lungs, liver, corneas and kidneys. The family’s noble act of giving helped give a new lease of life to four patients with end-stage organ failure; and would enable two people to receive the gift of eyesight. The harvested organs were sent to four hospitals across Mumbai. This donation marked Mumbai’s 29th and Fortis Hospital, Mulund’s first since the lockdown was first implemented in March 2020.
The female donor was declared brain dead at Fortis Hospital, Mulund on December 2, 2020, following a Subarachnoid Hemorrhage. The patient, from Badlapur, Thane, had sustained a fall at home, after which she was rushed to Fortis Hospital, Mulund. The family was counselled and informed consent was sought. The donor is survived by her husband, a son and three daughters.
Speaking about this feat, Dr S. Narayani, Zonal Director, Fortis Hospitals, Mumbai, says, “It is heartening to see that families are continuing to respond warmly to the cause of organ donation, even during the pandemic, as the fear of the virus looms large. This is a gigantic leap towards helping patients with organ failure, who have had longer time on the waitlist, owing to the pandemic. We express our heartfelt gratitude to the donor family, and to our doctors, nurses, Medical Social Workers and administrative staff who enabled the donation, and subsequent transplants”.
According to Dr Bharat Shah, general secretary, Zonal Transplant Coordination Centre (ZTCC), Mumbai, the medical team and transplant coordinator of Fortis team must be congratulated for diagnosing brain-stem death and counselling the family. “All the donated organs were successfully transplanted in four patients with end stage organ failure. This goes on to show that even the recipients are now coming out of fear of COVID pandemic and are willing to go for transplant during this pandemic. There is no need for potential recipients to fear COVID,” he says. The ZTCC has made robust guidelines which are strictly followed by all medical teams. With this, the risk of recipients contracting COVID infection is negligible.
Appreciating the kindness of the the family of deceased donor who came forward to save lives of four patients unknown to them, Dr S.K. Mathur, President, ZTCC, Mumbai, says, “If more people start following their example, then slowly the current dependence on live organ donations can be reduced.”
(Featured Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay)