A workshop on Donor Awareness – Medical, Legal & Ethical (DAMLE) was held at the 21st Annual Conference of the Indian Society of Critical Care Medicine on 5th March 2015 in Bengaluru. The faculty members from MOHAN Foundation invited for the workshop were Mrs. Lalitha Raghuram, Country Director and Dr. Sumana Navin, Course Director. The Workshop Coordinators were Dr. N. Sridhar, Kauvery Hospitals, Chennai and Dr. Chinnadurai, Sparsh Hospital, Bengaluru. They had come up with a programme schedule that was both interesting and interactive.
The workshop was kick-started by Dr. Sumana Navin speaking on ‘Everything you wanted to know about the law pertaining to organ donation, but were too afraid to ask.’ Dr. Vijayanand Palanisamy, GKNM Hospital, Coimbatore, spoke about the role of the intensivist in organ donation. He shared a very useful and practical protocol for deceased donor transplantation. The next session was ‘Brain-stem death testing – How to do it right – first time and every time’ by Dr. Sai Praveen Haranath, Apollo Hospitals, Hyderabad. He laid out the steps in brain-stem death testing with great clarity. It was followed by ‘Real life cases – exploring common pitfalls, brain death mimics and ethical conundrums’ by Dr. N. Sridhar. He also shared a Donor Optimisation app that he had recently developed along with Medindia and MOHAN Foundation.
The post-lunch session started with a quiz by Dr. N. Sridhar titled ‘One question – is this patient brain dead or not brain dead?’ There were 15 real life scenarios that the audience was quizzed on. Prof. Arpan Guha from UK spoke on ‘Donor Optimisation – Taking care of 7 patients not just one donor.’ Prof. Guha is Head of the Postgraduate School Of Medicine, University of Liverpool, UK and Associate Medical Director/DME, Royal Liverpool & Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust, Liverpool, UK. He emphasized that it is one’s clinical responsibility to maximise the gift of life from the donor and family. Both Prof. Guha and Dr. Haranath said that it was important to “normalize” organ donation discussions. Mrs. Lalitha Raghuram started off her session on ‘Breaking bad news and approaching family for organ donation’ by asking the members of the audience to share how they did it. They said that in the preliminary meetings with the family the concept of brain death, the testing involved needed to be discussed. Finally, it was necessary to clearly state that the person had died. Mrs. Raghuram said that it was very important to use unambiguous terms so that the family was not confused. It would also ease the process of broaching the topic of organ donation.
The post-tea session had ‘Medico-legal cases and post-mortem formalities’ by Dr. P.K. Devadass, Director cum Dean, Bangalore Medical College & Research Institute, ‘Role of Zonal Coordination Committee of Karnataka for Transplantation (ZCCK)’ by Dr. D. Ramesh, Secretary, ZCCK, and ‘Celebrity engagement and efficacy of public education’ by Ms. Priyanka of Gift Your Organ.