On August 13, 2022, Ms. Pallavi Kumar, Executive Director, MOHAN Foundation, NCR was invited as a panelist for a special webinar to commemorate Organ Donation Day organized by the Society of Neuro Critical Care. The other panelists were Dr. Sridhar Nagaiyan, Consultant Intensivist, Kauvery Hospital, Chennai and Dr. Jaya Wanchoo, Associate Director, Neurocritical care, Medanta the Medicity, Gurugram. Dr. Kapil Zirpe, Head Neuro Trauma unit Grant Medical Foundation, Ruby Hall, Pune was the moderator.
The main objective of the webinar was to identify successful and promising approaches to increase the organ donation numbers (and therefore, transplantation), to discuss various issues and challenges related to organ donation and transplantation, myths and facts related to organ donation, donor management, shortage of organs in India and different approaches to sensitize the people about organ donation in India.
Dr. Kapil welcomed and introduced all the guests. He then addressed the problem of the shortage of organs in India and the long waiting list to receive an organ, causing people’s death. He also addressed the need for sensitization. He continued by recalling the history of organ transplantation, mentioning that the first kidney transplant took place in the United States in 1954, whereas it occurred in India in 1967. He also mentioned that the first heart transplant occurred in 1994, the first liver and lung transplant in 1998 and the first pancreas transplant in 1999. He continued by pointing out that India is still struggling with a donation rate of 0.6 per million population.
With the help of a power point presentation, Ms. Pallavi emphasized on the need to provide social-emotional support for families dealing with the organ donation process. She also added that decisions regarding end of life care have a significant impact on whether the families decide to go in for organ donation or not. She then explained the crucial timings in organ donation process and the stages of grief that need to be understood when counselling a family. The possibility of a family saying ‘no’ to organ donation should be accepted gracefully, after all it is the family’s prerogative.
Dr. Sridhar gave an in-depth knowledge about donation after brain stem death and after cardiac death.
Dr. Jaya discussed donor management, an important area in the organ donation process. Optimal donor management is essential to maximise the function of transplanted organs and the quality of life and survival benefits conveyed to the recipients.
At the end, all the panellists gave their concluding remarks.
The session was conducted on CLIRNET platform with close to 15 participants.