The organs of brain-dead patients will soon be put to use at Indira Gandhi Government Medical College (IGGMC) by way of the upcoming Organ Retrieval Unit.

The idea was first announced on February 28 by dean Anuradha Shrikhande at an event held to mark Science Foundation Day. The unit will enable transplant of body parts including kidneys, heart, liver, lungs, eyes and skin. The registration process will now start and inspection of the facility has already been conducted. “We are waiting for the inspection report,” Shrikhande said.

“The experts from the zonal transplant unit wanted to see whether the operation theatre has adequate facilities for maintaining a brain-dead patient for two-three days, so that the retrieval team is able to extract organs,” said Shrikhande, adding the report is expected by next week. For skin extraction, the hospital has tied up with plastic surgeon Dr Sameer Jahagirdhar, who will operate patients at the skin transplant unit in Orange City Hospital. The eyes will be transferred to IGGMC’s own registered eye bank.

The unit will be operated by a joint effort of surgery, anesthesia, medicine and forensic departments of the IGGMC. "The infrastructure for the unit is ready and two beds have been allotted for the same at the surgical complex. We need a couple of things such as a mobile ultrasound machine, two ventilators and ECG, for which we have approached social organizations,” said Shrikhande.

Once doctors at the hospital identify a brain-dead patient, his relatives will be counselled for organ donation. After getting a nod from them, the hospital will inform the zonal transplant unit, a body of registered specialists. The unit will then depute their specialists for removal of organs. IGGMC will only identify and maintain the patients.

The initiative will work with the support from Mohan Foundation and Dr Ravi Wankhede, an alumni of IGGMC. The foundation will play the role of a coordinating body. It will mobilize the team of specialists once informed by the hospital, looking after processes of organ transplant, green corridor and police permission among other things. “I have a desire to see at least one organ transplant take place before I retire in May,” adds Shrikhande, who was made permanent dean of IGGMC last month. – TOI 

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