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Cadaver donation: In 24 yrs, just 10% of Mumbai patients got organs


MUMBAI: A 24-year review of cadaver or deceased organ donations in Mumbai showed only 10% of the 18,226 patients who had registered for a transplant could get an organ.
“There clearly is a need to promote

cadaver donation

in a bigger way as numbers reveal that 90% of those registered patients didn’t get an organ,” said Dr Bharat Shah, secretary of

Zonal Transplant Coordination Centre

(ZTCC), which coordinates distribution of

deceased donors

between various hospitals.

Transplant patients can get an organ such as kidney or liver from a living relative, but other solid organs such as heart or lungs need to be donated by a brain-dead (an irreversible loss of brain function) donor. The concept of brain death or deceased donations hasn’t taken off as it has in some western countries, though donations show an increasing trend in recent years from 47 in 2022 to 50 in 2023. Eight cadaveric donations have taken place in the city this year so far.


In Mumbai, since the state government set up ZTCC in 1999, there have been 659

brain-dead donors

who benefitted 1,884 patients so far.
ZTCC president Dr S K Mathur said donations are showing an upward trend now because of the role of intensivists in identifying and maintaining brain-dead donors in hospital ICUs, the awareness drives carried out by NGOs and the supportive role of the police in helping with clearances needed for such transplants.

However, the breakup of 18,226 registered patients in the last 24 years shows that almost 70% needed a kidney; the first cadaveric transplant after the

organ donation

act was passed was carried out in Sion Hospital on March 27, 1997. As per data for 2024, there are 3,586 people on the waiting list for a kidney, another 551 for a liver and 57 for a heart.
“With some new regulations and appointment of transplant coordinators, we can increase cadaveric donations,” said the dean of Sion Hospital Dr Mohan Joshi.

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