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A first in Liver Transplant in India – Networking works wel

A 30 year old was declared brain dead in a hospital in Hyderabad. The family was very motivated to donate all the organs of their loved one. // MOHAN (Multi Organ Harvesting Aid Network) Foundation’s counselors were called in and they provided the family with emotional support while the formalities were being undertaken. It was late evening before all the formalities could be completed.

The donor belonged to A positive blood group, however there were no liver or heart failure patients of that blood group waiting for a transplant in Hyderabad. The Indian Network of Organ Sharing of MOHAN Foundation swung into action. The ethos of the Foundation for the past many years has been 'Organs should not be wasted and treated like national resource'. Five organs - Pair of kidneys and corneas along with liver donation was late in night or in early hours of morning. The kidney was planned to be shared between two hospitals as were the corneas. The difficulty was in getting the liver to be used locally.

A doctor from Kerala - had listed himself with Sri Ganga Ram Hospital, Delhi for a possible liver transplant and desperately required the surgery. The logistic of liver being retrieved and sent to Delhi was proving to be difficult, hence an alternative strategy was worked out. Both the Liver failure doctor from Kerala and his Surgeon from Delhi were asked to fly into Hyderabad. The advantage of the strategy was it saved at least Rs.180,000 for a chartered flight and it also made the ischemia time the minimum possible.

In India a liver transplant surgery can be done within Rs.10 to 15 Lakhs. The problem has been a lack of organ donors. MOHAN Foundation has its network spread in three to four states and also maintains a time sensitive waiting list of patients in its network who require a transplant. It is one of the few such organization in the country and has made it possible to share over 300 kidneys, liver, heart and corneas between differ ent hospitals in the last 4 to 5 years. It has a computerized registry and has recently been given 100% tax exemption on all donations for such networking activities in different cities. Its counselors are confident that with some awareness on the media about the benefits of organ donation especially after brain death and putting resources into creating effective networking the shortage of organs in India can be overcome.

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