On December 14, 2016 the second session for the "Angels of Change- Volunteers for Organ Donation" for students of Bal Bharti Public School was conducted at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, Rajinder Nagar, New Delhi. The objective of the session was to provide an opportunity to the volunteers to interact with medical experts in the field to increase their knowledge and to clarify their doubts.
The panel of medical experts from Sir Ganga Ram Hospital for the session consisted of Dr. Harsha Jauhari, Senior Consultant – Renal Transplantation; Dr. Naimish Mehta, Hepatobiliary and Liver Transplant Surgeon; Dr. Sumit Ray from the Department of Critical Care and Emergency Medicine, and Dr. Sunita from Administration department. Dr. Jauhari who supports the work of the foundation very graciously agreed to conduct the session under his guidance. He is also Advisor, Organ Transplantation for National Organ Transplantation & Tissue Organization (NOTTO), Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
Ms. Pallavi Kumar, Executive Director MOHAN Foundation, began the session by asking few basic questions to the students to test their level of understanding as to how much they were able to grasp the concept taught to them in the last session. Then she invited Dr. Jauhari to take forward the proceedings.
Dr. Jauhari shared with the group that organ donation is an act of kindness that can save someone’s life leaving a legacy that will be remembered and admired by generations. He introduced the students to the Transplant Law i.e. Transplantation of Humans Organs Act, 1994. He explained that though transplantation existed even before the law, the enactment of the act by the government helped bring down illegal trafficking of organs. He also explained the three sciences related to kidney i.e. nephrology, urology and kidney transplantation. He spoke about living kidney transplantation where he emphasized on the fact that the health of the donor is given utmost priority so that the donor should not have any health issues 5-10 years post transplantation.
Students posed few questions regarding liver transplantation to Dr. Naimish Mehta. To name a few, “What is the recovery time for a liver donor?” ‘‘What percentage of liver is donated and how is that decided?’’ “What are the risks involved for a liver donor?” “Is the donor prone to infection?” Dr. Mehta answered them in a simple and crisp manner. He shared with the group that like kidney donor, a person donating his liver is healthy post transplantation with no risk of infection and most of the liver regenerates to its pre-transplant size in about 3-6 months time.
He added that liver is divided into two lobes, left lobe and the right lobe and each lobe has its own set of veins and arteries. Right lobe is bigger and better suited for adults, while the left lobe is smaller and better suited for children. After the donor operation, the liver will be removed and replaced with the donor's liver lobe. In liver transplantation the weight of the donor and the recipient is taken into consideration to decide the percentage of liver each one should have. In any case nothing less than 30-35% of liver is left in the donor. In response to a question on fatty liver, Dr. Mehta said that the symptoms of a fatty liver cannot be easily seen but can be diagnosed with a simple ultrasound test. To deal with fatty liver one needs to exercise and control the diet failing which it can lead to liver cirrhosis and then to liver failure requiring liver transplant.
Dr. Sunita with the help of Dr. Jauhari was able to explain the process flow when a family agrees for organ donation. It includes finding the correct recipient, preparing the operation theater, coordinating with different departments, transporting the organs within the stipulated time and all this is coordinated and organized at different levels to make transplantation successful.
Dr. Sumit Ray helped the students on how to explain the concept of brain death to the general public in an easy manner. He also addressed many questions relating to ethical issues on organ donation. He shared that if properly sensitized, general public would be better equipped to take the decision to donate their loved one’s organs when faced with such a situation. He added that a society would only flourish if it is based on trust and helping mankind.
The session concluded with Dr. Ray emphasizing on the need for students to do their bit because ‘youth’ are agents of change in their communities and could help promote organ donation.
It was an interactive session and students were satisfied with the experts handling of the difficult concept and making it simple for them to understand.