Publication date: March 3, 2020

Ahmedabad: From March 1, Gujarat joined the handful of Indian states having online system of updating the brain stem dead patients across hospitals. The move is aimed to promote cadaver organ donation.

Senior state health department officials had announced during the third roundtable on organ donation organized by The Times of India and Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital on January 30 that the online platform — a website — will be up and running by February. Apart from government representatives, the roundtable was attended by eminent transplant surgeons, hospital administrators, NGO representatives and academicians.

Jayanti Ravi, principal secretary (health), had mentioned during the roundtable that the development was in final stage. “After deliberations, it was decided that it would be modelled on National Organ and Tissue Transplant Organization (NOTTO) website and would be hosted by National Informatics Centre (NIC) to address safety and privacy concerns,” she had mentioned.

Jai Prakash Shivahare, state health commissioner, on Monday said that the system has been launched from March 1. “Primary aim of the initiative is to ensure transparency. If the system is not transparent, it would not instil confidence among relatives of the potential organ donors. Due to privacy issues, the platform will not be open for public but all the stakeholders will have access to it where live updates will be available,” he said.

Brain stem death declaration is a major issue in the entire process of organ donation. Dr Pranjal Modi, professor at Institute of Transplant Sciences (ITS) at IKDRC and convenor of State Organ and Tissue Transplant Organization (SOTTO), said that both transplant facilities and retriever hospitals are part of the network. “Currently, the number is 52 which would increase in the future,” he said.

After formation of SOTTO in January 2019, Gujarat had recorded 171 cadaver organ donations in one year. Out of the total, four hearts and four lungs were sent to Maharashtra whereas remaining organs – 104 kidneys, 53 livers, three hearts and three pancreases – were transplanted in city and state-based patients.

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