New Delhi [India]: A 9-year-brain-dead boy who suffered fatal injuries in a road accident donated her organ at AIIMS, Delhi and saved the lives of multiple people on Sunday. The child donated a liver, unilateral kidney, cornea and heart valve.
In 2022, Rolly Prajapati, a 6-year-old girl who was shot dead in Uttar Pradesh’s Noida set up the momentum for donating organs. According to the information given by a team of Organ Retrieval Banking Organization (ORBO) from AIIMS Delhi, ‘This is the 5th pediatric donation (all 5 cases have been in 1-6 years of age group) amongst 19 donations that have happened at JPN APEX TRAUMA CENTRE, AIIMS (Delhi) since last April 2022. Children are a very special group and need targeted approaches for brain death certification, maintenance of donor organs after brain death, subsequent organ retrievals and transplantations.’
‘There is a large unmet need of organs by children suffering from end-stage diseases of kidney, liver and heart across India and training of doctors in transplant in children needs to be reinforced regularly,’ said a team of ORBO.
‘Incidentally, a 9-year-old boy was born with only one kidney (as was confirmed on CT and USG abdomen) and hence only one kidney was retrieved to be transplanted to another boy at AIIMS Delhi, the liver will be transplanted at ILBS to another 16-year-old-boy in Delhi as per allocation by National Organ and Tissue Transplant Organisation (NOTTO). Both corneas were retrieved by the RP Centre Eye Bank team and will be used to give new vision to needy patients at AIIMS in subsequent days. Heart valves were retrieved too for later usage. Heart and lung were not found to be suitable for transplantation by the transplant team of experts from NOTTO,’ said the doctor’s team.
‘The entire process of brain death certification, donor organ management and counselling for consent and further retrievals was coordinated by a team of doctors, paramedic support staff from the Organ Procurement team (OPT), Organ retrieval banking organization (ORBO) of AIIMS, transplant team of doctors/support staff from AIIMS Delhi,’ said Dr Deepak Gupta, Professor of Neurosurgery at AIIMS Delhi.
Huge manpower and infrastructure are involved in the entire certification and retrieval process involving neurosurgeons, pediatric neurologists, intensivists, anaesthetists, transplant coordinators, nursing officers, lab technicians, microbiologists, radiologists, forensic medicine experts, hospital administration, police, social workers, NOTTO officers coordinating organ allocations, transplant team of individual hospitals. All of these team members work nonstop for an average of 2-3 days from the time of identification of a potential brain-dead patient to the actual transplantation process, he added.
‘We are trying to increase brain death certification rates in potential brain-dead patients and address knowledge gaps amongst physicians across India. At AIIMS, we have set protocols and guidelines for the management of pediatric brain-dead cases. Department of Neurosurgery at AIIMS, Delhi recently conducted a three-day Transplant Procurement Management (TPM) course wherein intricacies of pediatric donor management were discussed at length,’ Professor of Neurosurgery at AIIMS Delhi said.
‘A total of 51 senior doctors from different AIIMS and other parts of the country were trained in this course. Very few centers in India are doing organ donations from children currently. It takes many people to make a donation happen and everything has to fall in place for a successful retrieval and transplantation,’ Dr Deepak Gupta said.