21-month-old becomes youngest cadaver organ donor, saves 2 lives

The kid, born in July 2022 in the hospital, had developed health issues several times earlier and recovered after treatment.
Pratyush Panigrahi with his parents
Pratyush Panigrahi with his parentsPhoto | Express

BHUBANESWAR: A 21-month-old boy from Balasore became the youngest cadaver organ donor in Odisha by saving the lives of two persons. The boy Pratyush Panigrahi’s parents donated his organs after he was declared brain dead at Institute of Medical Sciences and SUM Hospital in the city on Saturday.

The kid, born in July 2022 in the hospital, had developed health issues several times earlier and recovered after treatment. He was again admitted to the hospital about a fortnight ago after being diagnosed with meningitis.

Prof Debasmita Rath of the hospital’s Paediatrics department said the baby suffered septic shock during treatment and did not recover. He was subsequently declared brain dead on Saturday. The parents Gouri Shankar Panigrahi and Sharmistha Panigrahi, both city-based artistes, then expressed their desire to donate the organs of the baby to help other patients requiring transplant.

The hospital authorities passed on the information to the State Organ and Tissue Transplant Organisation (SOTTO) which, in turn, got in touch with its regional and national counterparts to take the matter forward. While the kidneys were taken to a city-based hospital for another patient needing transplant, the liver of the infant was flown to the Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences (ILBS) at New Delhi for a baby awaiting transplantation.

Joint director of SOTTO Dr Bibhuti Bhusan Nayak said the wait-list patients were contacted after parents of the kid consented to donate all his vital organs. “Three organs - liver, heart and kidney were selected for retrieval. Although two organs matched with the requirements of the receivers, the heart could not be harvested as it did not match,” he said.

Acting medical superintendent Dr Rachita Sarangi said this was the first time in Odisha that the organs of such a small baby had been harvested to help save lives elsewhere. Till this case, the youngest donor was an eight-year-old boy, a Class-II student, whose family had come forward to donate his organs on March 3.

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