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Union minister Vilasrao Deshmukh died of cardiac failure, said renowned doctor Mohammed Rela of Chennai's Global Health City Tuesday even as he drew attention to the urgent need for organ donations. In a statement, Rela, director of Institute of Liver Surgery & Transplantation at the GHC said that Deshmukh was rushed from Mumbai to Chennai on Aug 6 with "rapidly progressing liver failure".
Deshmukh was unstable and required intensive treatment, according to Rela. "At the time of transfer, Deshmukh, in addition to having liver failure, also had circulatory failure requiring support for his heart, respiratory failure requiring mechanical ventilation and renal failure requiring continuous dialysis," Rela said. "However, in the first 48 hours, he responded to treatment and his vital signs stabilised even though he was still critical requiring support for his heart, lungs and kidneys," Rela added.
This was the time Rela felt there may be a small window of opportunity to consider Deshmukh for a liver transplantation. Accordingly, he was listed to receive a liver within the super urgent category which gave him priority to receive a suitable organ urgently. Deshmukh's three sons also expressed a wish to donate a part of their liver, but Rela felt that with his (Deshmukh's) condition being so poor, it would be better for him to receive a whole organ from a cadaver as it would aid recovery faster in such situations.
Unfortunately, Deshmukh waited four days with no suitable cadaver organ available. "This morning, his condition started deteriorating rapidly with oxygen requirement of 100 percent with very poor tissue oxygenation, an intense acid build up in the body with lactic acidosis of over 20," Rela said.
Despite best efforts by the medical team attending on him, Deshmukh suffered a cardiac arrest and died at 1.40 p.m. "Deshmukh's case shows us how vulnerable we are when we require an organ on an urgent basis. I hope that this death will improve public awareness of organ donation and stimulate governments across the country to do more organ donation. His death would then not be in vain," Rela said, expressing sympathies to the bereaved family.
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