Tamil Nadu shows the way in cadaver transplants

Chennai, June 18 (PTI) Giving a new lease of life to people suffering from organ failure is the Tamil Nadu Government‘s flagship cadaver transplant programme, which has seen the state take the lead since it came into being in 2008.

As many as 482 donations have taken place since 2008, enabling transplant of 2,642 organs, including vital ones like heart, the latest being the transplant of the heart of a brain dead young man to save a 21-year old Mumbai based woman at a city hospital, a top health official said.

“When compared to other states, Tamil Nadu’s cadaver transplants are approximately 10 times more,” State Convenor of the Tamil Nadu Cadaver Transplant Programme Dr Amalorpavanathan told PTI. He said the government was taking several steps to ensure better awareness and growth in organ donations so that the needy could benefit from the programme.

The programme launched in October 2008 by the Health Department enables needy patients get life saving organs from brain dead persons.

Since then, there had been 482 donors and a total of 1,412 transplanted total major organs — 76 hearts, 37 lungs, 439 livers, 859 kidneys and one pancreas, according to official statistics. The total organ transplants stands at 2,642, which include 500 heart valves, 726 corneas, four skin (graft).

Last year saw families of 129 brain dead persons donating their kins’ organs in the state, compared to 83 donors in 2012, a substantial increase of 55 per cent, Amalorpavanathan said.

Those needing vital organs should register with the Tamil Nadu Organ Transplant Registry under the government health department through their respective hospitals.

It was a kidney scandal in early 2007 in which the renal organs were removed from unsuspecting people that prompted the state government to bring forward a legislation to halt commercialisation of live kidney transplants and promote deceased donor organ transplants.

Accepting 33 recommendations of stakeholders arrived at a workshop in March 2007, a series of Government Orders was notified, laying down norms supplementing the Transplantation of Human Organs Act (THOA) and rules framed under it.

Subsequently, a framework was set up which ensured allocation of organs in a fair and transparent manner to potential recipients awaiting transplantation, the official said.