Advocate’s organ donation leads to Mumbai’s first small bowel transplant
Mumbai: After being declared brain dead by doctors, advocate Reena Bansode’s family decided to give a new lease of life to four critically ill patients by consenting to donate her organs
Mumbai: After being declared brain dead by doctors, advocate Reena Bansode’s family decided to give a new lease of life to four critically ill patients by consenting to donate her organs.
The gesture marked an organ donation from a public hospital after more than two years and it also led to Mumbai’s first small bowel transplant early on Thursday.
The organ donor Bansode (43), was admitted to the state-run JJ Hospital after suffering from a stroke. Despite all efforts, her condition did not improve and doctors eventually declared her brain dead. A team consisting of counsellors, doctors and medical social workers then counselled the family about the possibility of organ donation and Bansode’s husband gave his consent.
According to Dr Pallavi Saple, dean of JJ Hospital, the donor’s heart, kidneys, small bowel (small intestine) and corneas were retrieved. “As a tradition followed in JJ Hospital, we also paid a tribute to the donor by bringing her body near Sir Jamsetjee Jeejeebhoy’s statue in the hospital premises,” said Saple.
The donor’s small bowel was sent to the Global Hospital in Parel where it was transplanted to a 46-year-old man from Kolkata, suffering from bowel gangrene. Doctors had to remove his entire small bowel as the gangrene had spread widely. The patient had since been on parenteral nutrition. He was listed with the Zonal Transplant Coordination Centre (ZTCC) for an organ transplant early this month.
A team of doctors led by surgeon Dr Gaurav Chaubal conducted the complex procedure that involves replacing the diseased intestine with the healthy one from the donor. The small bowel is a part of the gastrointestinal tract. It is a tube-like organ that connects the stomach to the large intestine. The small bowel consists of three parts- the duodenum, jejunum, and ileum- and its primary function is to digest food and absorb all nutrients.
Only about a dozen small bowel transplants have been carried out in the country. Maharashtra’s first small bowel transplant was carried out in Pune’s Jupiter Hospital in March 2020. Another such procedure was carried out in Thane’s Jupiter Hospital in November 2020, but it involved a living donor, wherein a father donated a part of his intestine to his nine-year-old son.
This was the city’s 18th deceased organ donation of the year. Organ donations had come to a halt due to the pandemic, but are now slowly gaining pace. In 2019, the city recorded 79 deceased organ donations. The number dropped to 30 in 2020 and 33 in 2021 due to the pandemic.
Mumbai’s private hospitals are at the forefront when it comes to declaring brain deaths and counselling families for organ donations. The public run hospitals, despite very high patient footfall, record few donations. The last organ donation from a public hospital was recorded in February 2020.
“The Maharashtra government has formed a state-level task force to improve the deceased organ donations in the state and particularly in the public hospitals,” said Dr SK Mathur, president of the ZTCC. “The work by the task force has started showing results,” he said.