Published on July 11, 2021

AHMEDABAD: In the past one and a half months, the state recorded more than seven donations of organs retrieved from cadavers. While the cadaver donation was hit by Covid-19 in 2020, the entire year had recorded 36 such donations. In comparison, the first six months of 2021 have witnessed 25 donations or 70% of the last year’s donation.

Dr Pranjal Modi, vice-chancellor of Gujarat University of Transplantation Sciences (GUTS) and convenor of State Organ & Tissue Transplantation Organization (SOTTO), said that the drop in Covid-19 cases have resulted in the rise in donations.

“All donations are conducted with utmost care and following Covid protocols. Each donation reduces dependency on living donors. To promote cadaver organ donation, we have launched online donor cards in Gujarati where the citizens can can scan a QR code or fill up a link and give their details to get the card,” said Dr Modi. “It’s not only to ensure getting the consent of the person, but also educating them about the process involved such as brain death and instill confidence in it.”

The SOTTO data showed that 54% of the hearts retrieved were transplanted out of the state. In the past one-and-a-half years, a total of 11 hearts were retrieved out of which five were transplanted within the state, whereas others went to patients in Chennai, Mumbai, New Delhi and Hyderabad.
Likewise, 14 lungs were retrieved, all of which were sent to other centres through ROTTO and NOTTO as the state doesn’t have a lung transplant programme so far.

Nilesh Mandlewala, founder of Surat-based Donate Life Foundation, said that the pandemic surely was a major challenge, but with slow return of normalcy, the donations have also increased.

“Recently, lungs of a patient from Surat were transplanted in a woman in Maharashtra whose lungs were completely ravaged by Covid-19 infection. Need of the hour is to create awareness about protocols at all levels, establishing a trustworthy system for the relatives of the brain-dead patients, and coordination like clockwork among agencies if the organs are being sent outside the state,” he said.

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