CHENNAI: The state health department will open an independent transplant block in Chennai’s Institute of Child Health that will exclusively cater to transplant needs of children.
Health minister Ma Subramanian on Tuesday said the government has sanctioned permission for the construction of an eight-storey building on the hospital campus for setting up kidney, liver, and bone marrow transplant units.
The building will have labs, ICUs, theatres and labs that will be used exclusively for transplant surgeries. The hospital will soon take up heart transplants too.
The state will fund transplant surgeries through the state health insurance scheme and provide immune-suppression medication. This medicine will allow the child’s body to accept the transplanted organ and prevent rejection.
Like adults, children are susceptible to organ failures that require organ transplantation as treatment. Many of the conditions prompt the need for a transplant, and they can occur as early as infancy. Other issues surrounding injuries or diseases may also occur during childhood. The most transplanted organs are kidneys and liver.
On most occasions, a blood relative – parents or grandparents – donate one of their kidneys or a chunk of liver from their body, doctors said.
“This hospital has so far done just one kidney transplant where the grandparent donated the organ. But on most occasions, since adult donors are involved, patients are referred to Government Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital,” said ICH director Dr Rema Chandramohan.
However, with the increasing demand, the hospital is working out plans for a live and cadaver transplantation programme for liver, kidney and bone marrow in the hospital. “While we can use adult organs for children, the hospital will also attempt to donate organs to the pool,” she said.
When donations come from children, smaller children will be benefited.
After successful organ transplantation, most children lead normal life. Their growth and development improve, they catch up with their peers and pursue all activities including schooling, sports, and other physical activities.
The minister commissioned ultrasound and surgical equipment worth Rs 68 lakh donated to the hospital by the Rotary Club.
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