On the occasion of World Organ Donation Day, on November 27, Dr Subramania Iyer, head of surgery at Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences in Kerala, speaking at KEM hospital expressed the need for more hand transplant centres across the nation.
Dr Subramania Iyer gives a special lecture on organ transplant at KEM hospital on the occasion of World Organ Donation Day
Aakash P Malvankar
After two successful hand transplant surgeries conducted in Kochi, the two Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC)-run hospitals, Nair hospital and KEM hospital, are planning to apply for registration for conducting the hand transplants in these hospitals. Both, Nair hospital and KEM hospital, are already registered for kidney and liver transplants, and will now be applying for the hand transplant registration as well.On the occasion of World Organ Donation Day, on November 27, Dr Subramania Iyer, head of surgery at Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences in Kerala, speaking at KEM hospital expressed the need for more hand transplant centres across the nation. “In a country, like India, with such a large population, the number of people with loss of hands is huge. We need more awareness, and more centres conducting the hand transplants,” Dr Iyer added.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The greatest requisite to set up a hand transplant centre is the institutional capability. Apart from that, expert hand and micro surgeons, orthopedic and anesthetic support, transplant ICU and nursing support, transplant immunology, pathology, rehabilitation and hand physiotherapy, etc. are also required.According to Dr Gauri Rathod, nodal officer, Transplantation of Human Organs (THO) Act, directorate of health services, the two hospitals already have the infrastructure and expertise in place, and thus the registration will happen very soon. “The two BMC-run hospitals are very much interested in conducting a hand transplantation and are motivated after the successful surgeries conducted in Kerala recently,” Dr Rathod added.The two successful hand transplant surgeries in India have had a big impact in the way of putting India on the world map of capability in composite tissue allotransplantation. The two recipients have become a beacon of hope for the others, who have lost their limbs due to various reasons.Dr Iyer said, “More than 200 people have approached us for hand transplant after the two transplants. However, a lot of things like motivation, family background, economic status, level of amputation, nature of injury, etc. need to be considered before putting them in the waiting list.”Hand transplants has been found to be superior than prosthetic hands, especially in cases of bilateral hand amputees, primarily because of the cost involved and secondly because prosthetic hand lacks sensation. In hand transplant, sensation is regained in about a year’s time.According to Dr Iyer, one of the biggest obstacle in conducting a hand transplant is difficulty in convincing people to donate hands. Hence, it is crucial to create awareness for both recipients and donors. Rehabilitation, thus, is a very important stage in a transplant. “Our aim is that the recipients should go back to the society and be able to work,” Dr Iyer remarked.The eligibility criteria for donors for hand transplant is similar to that of kidney and liver transplants, including blood group matching. A brain dead person is the donor for hand transplant.