No donors: Liver transplants hit

As 17-year-old Swathi Krishna moves out of hospital on Tuesday, nearly 100 patients are in the queue at the Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences (AIMS) and Lakeshore Hospital here with the required money for liver transplantation, but are yet to get donors.

The two hospitals alone have the facility for liver transplantation in Kerala. The Lakeshore has 50 patients while Amrita has more than 40 in the queue. These are patients who can afford the high cost of transplantation which amounts to over Rs17 lakh and need just the donors. The hospital authorities are now declining new requests.

“Some of them are relatively known faces while some are professionals, but since there aren’t enough donors, we are unable to conduct surgeries,” said Dr. S. Sudheendran, who led the transplantation on Swathi Krishna, and performed over 160 liver transplantations so far.

According to Dr Philip Augustine, MD of Lakeshore Hospital and head of its gastroenterology department, thousands of cirrhosis patients are undergoing treatment and hundreds of them are in need of liver transplantation. “But all of them cannot afford the cost of transplantation and hence are skipping the option,” he said.

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