‘Lack of organ donors affecting liver transplants’

January 19th, 2012 - 12:32 am ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Jan 18 (IANS) The crunch in organ donations is affecting the number of transplants in India, a doctor said Wednesday, adding that nearly 25,000 patients need liver transplants annually but only 800 are able to get these.

“Lack of donors who pledge to donate their organs after their death is affecting the number of liver transplants in the country. Out of 25,000 who need a transplantation, only 800 are done,” Arvinder Singh Soin, chairman, Medanta Institute of Liver Transplantation and Regenerative Medicine, told IANS on the sideline of an event.

Soin said that the huge gap between the required number of liver transplants and the actual number can only be shortened by making people aware about the organ donations.

“If public have more awareness on organ donation, at least 10,000 livers can be easily transplanted every year. But last year, only 200 families voluntarily donated the liver of the family member who died due to brain death,” he said, talking to IANS shortly after announcing how a team led by him performed a complex marathon surgery, doing six simultaneous surgeries for liver transplant in three babies.

Drawing a parallel, Soin said that in India annually thousands die in fatal road accidents — most of them are due to brain death — and in such cases they become potential organ donors.

“If a small percentage of them become donors, it might save thousands of precious lives - not just liver but also the other vital organs,” he added.

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