Erode witnesses first organ harvesting

ERODE: In a first of its kind operation in Erode, a group of doctors harvested vital organs from a victim who was confirmed brain dead on Saturday. According to Kovai Medical Centre and Hospital (KMCH) in Erode, the victim was admitted to the hospital on September 30.

The 57-year-old man hailed from Rajapalayam in Virudhunagar district. He worked as chief electrician in Tamil Nadu Cements Corporation Limited in Alangudi, Tiruvarur district. “He was about to retire in a few months and was transferred to the marketing department. As part of his work, he came to Pallipalayam in Namakkal district on September 30,” said P Manoj, kin of the deceased. Talking to TOI, he said the victim met with an accident the same day in Pallipalayam. “An unknown vehicle knocked him down and he sustained grave head injuries,” he added.

Passersby rushed him to a private hospital in Erode for treatment. Doctors admitted him to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and the next day his relatives arrived at the hospital. “Doctors said his condition was critical and soon he slipped into coma from which he never recovered and was soon declared medically dead,” said Janaki, wife of the deceased.

The private hospital, in which the victim was admitted, did not have licence to harvest organs. So they shifted the patient to KMCH on Friday. “We have thoroughly examined his body and brain conditions. According to government rules, we should confirm twice before harvesting organs from a victim’s body. So we have conducted checkups twice, one on Friday night around 10.30 pm and another one on Saturday early morning around 4. 30am,” said a spokesperson from KMCH, on condition of anonymity. “We spoke to the family members about the importance of organ donation and they immediately agreed,” he said.

A team of 10 doctors led by senior general physician Dr N V Mohan, carried out the organs harvesting operation. The team started the operation around 10 am and completed around 3 pm. “We have harvested a pair of eyes, a pair of kidneys and liver from the victim’s body. We could not use his heart due to his age,” the spokesperson said and added that all the vital organs were sent to Coimbatore and Erode based hospitals immediately.

The body was later sent to Erode government hospital for postmortem and then handed over to the relatives.