Youth receives kidney harvested from a brain-dead person in Tiruchi

Government Rajaji Hospital (GRH) on Tuesday performed its first cadaveric transplant. A kidney harvested from a brain-dead person in Tiruchi was transplanted to a 27-year-old person from Madurai.

The organ was harvested from a 30-year-old man, who met with an accident and was subsequently declared brain dead by doctors at Cethar Hospitals in Tiruchi, where he was undergoing treatment, on Monday night.

According to sources at the GRH, after receiving consent from the family, the heart, lungs, kidneys, liver and corneas were harvested from the accident victim at Cethar Hospitals.

One of the kidneys was allocated to S. Jeyabharath, a patient undergoing regular dialysis at the GRH, as per seniority in the list of registered patients maintained by Transplant Authority of Tamil Nadu (TRANSTAN).

“In the early hours of Tuesday, we received a call from the GRH informing us that a kidney is available for transplant and asking my son to get admitted in the hospital immediately,” said U. Sekar, Jeyabharath’s father, who works as a hairstylist.

The organ was brought from Tiruchi to the GRH by road in a 108 ambulance with the help of police, who ensured that the road was cleared for the vehicle at all important points, hospital sources said.

The surgery began late in the afternoon and lasted around four hours. “The entire medical team and those responsible for coordinating the organ transplant, including the ambulance service, did a tremendous job. The whole exercise was carried out with precision and the surgery was successful,” said M.R. Vairamuthu Raju, Dean, GRH.

Mr. Sekar said that his son was diagnosed with kidney failure after he returned from Malaysia, , where he was working as a hairstylist, a few years back. “We could not afford treatment at private hospitals. My son was undergoing dialysis at the GRH, which was our only hope for getting a transplant done,” he said.

Activists had raised concerns that no harvesting of organs or cadaveric transplants were being carried out at the GRH despite the hospital handling a large number of deaths – many of them were brain-dead cases – due to road accidents. C. Anandaraj, a health rights activist, who had approached the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court regarding the issue, said, “I hope the GRH will soon begin identification of brain-dead cases and harvesting of organs since the hospital now has adequate infrastructure.”

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