After almost three years, the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Delhi received its first bone donation for transplant. This came from a soldier who decided to donate the bones of his 28-year-old brain-dead wife. She was brought to the R&R hospital after there was an incident of cylinder blast at their home in Gwalior.
A donation like this was received by the institute in March 2020. The bank which was institutionalised in 1999 has received 30 donations to date. Sharing more about the donations, Dr Rajesh Malhotra, chief of AIIMS Trauma Centre and head of the orthopaedics department told Times of India that the bones donated by a person can be used by more than 20 people. They are used for replacing segments lost due to cancer, certain infections and injuries. They also come in help to fill up cavities formed during surgeries.
However, this is the first time that the hospital authorities have retrieved the bones of a brain-dead patient. While the family consented to donate all the organs for transplant, it is due to injuries from the blast that they couldn’t to retrieved by the doctors. But, the woman’s femur, tibia fibula and patella with the tendons were retrieved and they would be given to AIIMS when needed for a patient.
The doctors also shared that because there is a lack of awareness and certain misconceptions about organ transplantations, people refrain from coming out for donations. They shared that while many assume that the body of the donor is cut open, it gets difficult for the family to cremate or perform the last rites of the deceased.
However, contrary to popular opinion, the cavities caused by these donations are covered. While for the organs cotton is stuffed to avoid fluid drainage, wooden sticks are placed in limbs to stop the body from deforming and maintain the dignity of the donor. The doctors also urged people to donate so that more lives can be saved.
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