Monday, 30th October 2017

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Gift of organs from kin

Chinmoy Ghosh was declared brain dead at a city hospital on Monday

By Jhinuk Mazumdar in Calcutta
  • Published 17.07.19, 4:26 AM
  • Updated 17.07.19, 4:26 AM
  • 2 mins read
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Ghosh, who worked in a clinic, was returning home on the afternoon of July 10 when the scooter he was riding collided with a lorry in Memari, Burdwan (Shutterstock)

The family of a 36-year-old man who died of injuries sustained in a road accident last week donated his organs to a city hospital on Tuesday.

Chinmoy Ghosh, a resident of Memari in Burdwan, was declared brain dead at a city hospital on Monday. His family agreed to give away his heart, liver, both kidneys, cornea and skin — a gesture they felt Ghosh would have approved of.

Ghosh, who worked in a clinic, was returning home on the afternoon of July 10 when the scooter he was riding collided with a lorry in Memari. He was taken to a local government hospital, where a CT scan revealed brain haemorrhage.

“He had been hit on the front and back of his head and was referred to Park Clinic in Calcutta, where he underwent a surgery on July 10 but did not regain consciousness after that. On Monday morning, the doctors told us he was brain dead but his heart was beating. We knew about organ donation but we would need the consent of his wife and brother before proceeding,” said Arunava Mitra, a relative.

Mitra and a few others explained to Ghosh’s wife that others could get a life because of him. “He was popular in Memari for his helpful nature. Whenever anyone needed blood he would volunteer and also actively participated in organising donation camps. In fact he was aware of organ donation and thought it to be noble,” Mitra said.

The doctors in charge told Ghosh’s family that he was brain dead and initiated a conversation about organ donation, which was taken very positively by the family, the hospital authorities said.

Ghosh’s family members gave their consent on Monday and his organs were retrieved by Tuesday afternoon.

“A brain-dead patient has a beating heart but eventually the heart stops. There is a window of opportunity between the brain being dead and the heart stopping. If the organs can be retrieved during that time, they can give life to others,” said Sudip Chatterjee, honorary secretary, Park Clinic.

“Everybody should consider this because that’s the only way some people can get a fresh lease of life and a dead person has no use of the organs in any way. But it requires a little awareness.”

Chatterjee said the window for retrieving the organs varies from one patient to another as there is always a risk of a brain-dead patient suffering a cardiac arrest. “So the organs are best retrieved as soon as a patient has been conclusively declared brain dead,” he said.

Ghosh’s heart went to a 25-year-old zari worker at the Calcutta Medical College and Hospital.

“He was diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy, a condition in which the heart muscles weaken and the rate at which the heart pumps blood goes down. His condition had deteriorated over the past month. He was on medicines but he was lucky to receive a heart that matched his,” said Plaban Mukherjee, the head of the department of cardio-thoracic surgery at Calcutta Medical College.

Ghosh’s kidneys have been transplanted into a patient at SSKM Hospital and another at a private hospital. His cornea and skin have been preserved, family members said.