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In a move to increase organ donations, the Maha Govt has passed an order which will allow 'non-transplant hospitals equipped with an ICU and operation' to retrieve organs for harvesting and made it mandatory for them to officially identify brain dead patients. The resolutions which are based on the Organ Transplant Act, 1994 mandates the certification of "brain dead condition" by a "Brain Stem Death Committee". Hospitals will have to inform the Zonal Transplantation Coordination Committee.
"The ZTCC, after obtaining relatives' consent to retrieve the brain dead person's organs, will arrange for them to be sent for transplantation as per the waiting list," said an official. The notification says the panel should comprise the doctor in charge of the hospital, a physician or surgeon, an interventionist, a neurologist or neurosurgeon, and the registered medical practitioner treating the patient. "If a hospital doesn't have a neurosurgeon, it can avail the service of one from a different panel," a senior official told a leading tabloid.
Relaxing the rules will go a long way in boosting cadaver donations. Hospitals will also have to make records of transplant surgeries, the counselling department and the transplant coordinator. The last order makes it compulsory for hospitals registered under the Human Organ Transplantation Act to maintain records of transplant surgeries, the counselling department and the transplant coordinator.
Dr Sujata Patwardhan, the secretary of the Zonal Transplant Coordination Committee, welcomed the resolutions, saying they are likely to add to the pool of organ donors. "Currently, 29 hospitals in the city are registered with the ZTCC and thereby authorised to carry out transplants. But only eight of them are actively doing it." Dr Patwardhan cautioned that the logistics in transporting organs from retrieval to transplant centres are still to be worked out.
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