Family of brain dead 18-month-old girl donates organs, third child in six months to donate organs at AIIMS

In India, on average, 700 organ donors donate organs after brain death, he said. The United States recently completed 1 million organ donations in September this year.

Published: 13th November 2022 12:33 PM  |   Last Updated: 13th November 2022 12:33 PM   |  A+A-

AIIMS

AIIMS Delhi. (File Photo)

By PTI

NEW DELHI: The family of an 18-month-old girl, who was declared brain dead at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences here, has given a fresh lease of life to two patients by donating her organs.

Mahira, a native of Mewat in Haryana, had suffered a fall from the balcony of her house on November 6 and was rushed to AIIMS Trauma centre in an unconscious state with evidence of severe brain damage.

"She was declared brain dead on November 11 morning," Professor of Neurosurgery at AIIMS, Dr Deepak Gupta told PTI.

He said her liver has been transplanted in a six-month-old child at the Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences (ILBS), while both her kidneys were transplanted successfully in a 17-year-old boy at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).

Her corneas and heart valves have been preserved for later use, Gupta said. After 16-month-old Rishant, Mahira is the second-youngest child in Delhi/NCR whose organs were donated by the family.

Mahira happens to be the third child in the last six months to donate her organs at the AIIMS trauma centre.

"Rolly was the first child followed by 16-month-old Rishant whose organs were donated by his family in August. During counselling, Mahira's parents were told about Rolly's story after which they understood the concept of brain death and the need for organ donation to save the lives of others. They then agreed to donate her organs," Dr Gupta said.

The parents of 6-year-old Rolly, who was declared brain dead following a gunshot injury, had donated her vital organs -- heart, liver, kidneys and corneas -- in April this year.

The professor noted that falling from heights is the biggest killer amongst children in India and suggested that the balcony height should be made twice the height of children in every house.

"Children often end up the climbing railing of balconies unprotected and fall over. Many such children die or sustain severe head injuries. Such deaths and injuries are completely preventable," he said.

He also said that awareness on organ donation in rural areas is not adequate and that most refusals come from senior members (grandparents/elders) who have not heard of this concept.

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"Law in our country needs to be looked into and changed to 'opt-out law' (everyone who meets with an accident is presumed to be an organ donor) as against 'opt-in law' (currently existing law where family consent is needed).

A majority of families refuse organ donation out of ignorance or their inability to understand the urgent need for organs to save the lives of those suffering from end-stage diseases," Dr Gupta underlined.

India has 0.4 per million population organ donation rates (the lowest in the world). The US and Spain have 50 per million population organ donation rates.

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In India, on average, 700 organ donors donate organs after brain death, he said. The United States recently completed 1 million organ donations in September this year.

AIIMS Delhi has in the recent past made changes in organ procurement activities under the new leadership as a result of which organ donations have picked up significantly in the last six months.

Fourteen organ donations have happened at AIIMS Delhi this year, the highest ever number since 1994, Dr Gupta added.



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