1st in India: Transplanted liver reused, saves life

Transplanted liver reused, saves life | page 23 New Delhi: In a first-of-its-kind operation in India, doctors at a private hospital in the city reused a liver, transplanted onto a patient who was declared brain dead days after the operation, to save another man’s life, reports Durgesh

New Delhi: In a first-of-its-kind operation in India, doctors at a private hospital in the city reused a liver, transplanted onto a patient who was declared brain dead days after the operation, to save another man’s life, reports Durgesh Nandan Jha.

The new recipient, a 54-year-old man from Delhi, is stable and recuperating well, said Dr Subhash Gupta, chairman of the Centre for Liver and Biliary Sciences at Max Saket. “Only a few such transplants had earlier been done globally, none in India ,” he added. The first recipient of the organ had suffered intracranial haemorrhage, or bleeding in the brain, barely a week after the transplant. He was declared brain dead on October 5.

All but 1 of 21 patients refused ‘used liver’ for transplant op
According to Max hospital doctors, the liver belonged to a 44-year-old woman from Gurgaon who had a history of seizures and hypertension, who was declared brain dead following a brain bleed at Fortis Gurgaon on September 21.

The woman’s family consented to donate her heart, liver, kidneys and corneas. The 44-year-old’s liver was transplanted into a 53-year-old man from Gurgaon who was suffering from liver failure. The recipient was recovering well post-transplant, but he also developed the same problem as his donor — brain bleed (intracranial haemorrhage) on September 28, after about a week of the liver transplant operation.

After taking the opinion of a neurologist, he was declared brain dead on October 5 at about 9.40pm. The family of the 53-year-old insisted that his organs, including the liver, be used to save other lives, following which the National Organ and Tissue Transplantation Organisation (NOTTO) was informed.

An alert was sent out by NOTTO to all hospitals that had the facility for liver transplantation about the availability of a previously transplanted liver, Dr Gupta said, adding that none of the hospitals came forward to accept the reused liver.

“We at Max hospital Saket had about 21 patients waiting for the liver in the same blood group. We contacted all of them. All, but one patient, refused to get the transplant from this liver,” the transplant coordinator at Max Saket said. There is a high risk of rejection in transplant involving a liver that has been used before. Dr Gupta said this was explained in detail to the new recipient, a 54-year-old man from Delhi, but he still wanted to go ahead.

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