OGH to streamline process of declaring patients \'brain dead\'

Hospitals face shortage of kidneys and liver for organ transplant

Hyderabad: Facing a shortage of kidneys and liver for organ transplant, Osmania General Hospital (OGH) is trying to streamline the process of declaring patients 'brain dead' so that their organs can be potentially donated.

Brain death is the complete loss of brain function in a person who is on artificial life support. When patients are declared brain dead, hospital authorities can counsel family members of the deceased and request them to donate the organs. According to officials, many potential donors are being overlooked.

In OGH, there is a high demand for kidneys, but due to low availability, the hospital is only performing 2-3 renal transplants per month.

OGH Superintendent Dr B. Nagender said, "There is a committee comprising neurologists, treating doctors and administrators to declare patients brain dead, but it is not being done in many cases. OGH especially gets a lot of victims of severe road accidents, who can be potential donors. We want to improve the declaration process."

All donated organs are allocated to various hospitals on a rotation basis through the Jeevandan organ donation programme. Programme incharge Dr G. Swarnalatha said that due to the similar problem of some eligible candidates being overlooked for organ donation, Kerala and Gujarat had issued government orders making it mandatory for the treating doctor to declare patients who have suffered brain death as brain dead.

Telangana does not have such a mandate. "I had suggested that data on patients in coma, which is available in the Aarogyasri database, can be used to find out the number of such patients, who may eventually become potential donors," Dr Swarnalatha said.

In the Jeevandan portal, there is a waiting list of 3,000 patients who need a kidney. Among all organs, kidneys have the most demand. Until June 6 this year, 123 kidneys and 81 livers have been supplied for transplants via the portal.

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