PGIMER conducts first ever simultaneous pancreas and kidney transplants

NewsDrum Desk
31 Jan 2023

Chandigarh, Jan 31 (PTI) The Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research here has conducted its first ever simultaneous pancreas and kidney transplants involving retrieval of pancreas from a deceased donor while the kidney was donated by the sister of a patient. In a statement on Monday, the institute said the magnanimous gesture of the family of the donor, Kundan Baitha, saved four lives.

"Achieving another milestone, the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) conducted its first ever simultaneous pancreas and kidney transplant where the pancreas was retrieved from a deceased donor while the kidney was donated by the sister of the patient," it said.

According to the statement, Kundan Baitha (21), a resident of West Champaran district in Bihar, was out for some work on January 22 when his bike skidded and he fell on the road. He suffered severe head injury in the accident. Kundan was brought to PGIMER in a critical condition on January 23. However, on January 29, he was declared brain dead by the certification committee at PGIMER, it said. "But even in this darkest hour and amid their own grief, the grief-stricken father, Narsingh Baitha, showed exceptional courage by consenting to donate the organs of his deceased son," the statement said.

After the family's consent, the donor's heart, liver, kidneys and pancreas were retrieved for transplantation to improve others' lives.   Talking about the simultaneous pancreas and kidney transplants, Prof H S Kohli, Head, Department of Nephrology, PGIMER said, "It was a huge challenge prepping for cadaver and live transplant simultaneously. The team worked in tandem and at a breakless pace to make it a success finally." Prof Ashish Sharma, Head, Department of Renal Transplant Surgery, said the recipient was suffering from Type 1 diabetes from the last 21 years.

"The diabetes had affected his kidneys and led to end-stage kidney failure, requiring hemodialysis for the last three years.   "While on dialysis, his condition continued to deteriorate and in the last one year, he was having repeated admissions in the PGI emergency for either fluid/electrolyte disturbances requiring emergency dialysis or due to episodes of hypo or hyperglycemia despite being managed by doctors," Sharma said.

While the patient's sister was willing to donate her kidney, she could not donate her pancreas, he said.        "As the waiting list for pancreas was too long, the patient along with the doctors decided to proceed for the kidney transplant alone which meant that the disease which caused the kidneys to fail would still be there.   "Meanwhile, the donor family agreed to donate organs of their loved one where the kidneys had already been allocated to two, while the pancreas was available. Seeing this opportunity, the family was given the option to do an emergency living donor kidney transplant along with the deceased donor pancreas transplant for which they agreed," the doctor said.

The operation lasted for 12 hours and involved nearly 30 medical persons from various departments. The combined transplant operation was successful without any complication.   Hailing the donor's family, Prof Vivek Lal, Director, PGIMER stated, “One develops a different level of respect for donor families like the one of Kundan Baitha.

"With incessant efforts of PGIMER team involved in the process, the momentum for organ donation certainly seems to be building up gradually. Though slow, but we hope to inch closer to bridging the donor-recipient gap,” he said.


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