A magnanimous decision and timely organ donation by the family of a 51-year-old female road accident victim helped in saving two lives. The victim was brought in an extremely critical condition at Fortis Hospital, Vasant Kunj, following a road traffic accident in the morning hours of June 9 near IGI Airport. On admission at 8:07 am, the victim was unconscious and intubated in Emergency. Her CT examination revealed severe head injury with diffuse brain edema, a life-threatening condition that causes fluid to develop in the brain. Despite the best efforts by the team of doctors, the patient could not recover and was declared brain dead on June 11th.
Post counseling, her family displayed enormous grit in their hour of grief and decided to donate her heart and liver to save the lives of two patients needing transplants. The heart was successfully transplanted in a recipient at HN Reliance Hospital, Mumbai, and the liver, in another patient at the Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences (ILBS), Delhi.
According to NOTTO (National Organ and Tissue Transplant Organization), once a patient is declared brain dead, the hospital can counsel the family on organ donation. NOTTO protocol and guidelines stipulate that the treating hospital gives all details and obtains necessary clearances on a possible organ donation. In this case, the No Objection Certificate in a Medico-Legal Case (NOC-MLC) was obtained and a request for a green corridor was made. While the doctors at the Fortis Hospital started working on cadaver recipient list, NOTTO simultaneously allocated the heart to a recipient at HN Reliance Hospital, Mumbai and liver to a patient at the Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences (ILBS), Delhi.
Talking about the case, Dr. Rajeev Nayyar, Facility Director, Fortis Hospital, Vasant Kunj said, “I salute the deceased donor and her family to have realized the value of organ donation and giving life to ailing patients. The clockwork precision of all internal and external medical teams made this donation a reality. This should encourage more people to come forward and get themselves registered for organ donation to save more lives.”
It is estimated that almost 5 lakh Indians face organ failure every year and only 2-3 percent receive a life-saving transplant. As per data available with NOTTO, in 2022, 11 cadaver donations have been done with successful retrieval of 30 organs in Delhi. Every year, hundreds of people die in India, waiting for an organ transplant. Due to lack of awareness and misconceptions, there is a shortage of organ donors, and with each passing year, the gap between the number of organs donated and the people waiting for transplant, is growing wider. Timely cadaveric organ donation can save many lives and more people would come forth and pledge their organs if they receive more information and are educated on the benefits of organ donation.